By: Mark Waid (writer), Horacio Domingues (art), Juan Castro (inks), Andrew Dalhouse (colors) & Ed Dukeshire (letters)

The Story: A well done jumping on point allows us to learn some additional background info on several of our central characters.

What’s Good: If you’re a fan of “jumping on points” this will be a good issue for you.  Mark Waid does a very nice job of balancing the summary-of-the-story-so-far aspects of a jumping on point issue with the unveiling of additional information that is necessary to keep established readers from screaming.  He does this really well by using flashbacks and it makes me wonder why jumping on point issues can’t always be this way.

I also really like what Waid is doing with the Jailbait 2.0 character.  The original Jailbait is a great character and is easy to root for: she’s just a kid who has made some poor choices and you really want to see her straighten her life out or at least catch a break.  However, having original Jailbait around makes Max Damage’s history of sleeping with this 15-16 year old girl a little too blatant.  Your tastes may vary and I do appreciate that this history of pedophilia is important if we are to appreciate Max Damage’s ultimate redemption, but I still don’t like to see the living, breathing victim on every page.  It’s just a little too skeevy so I am happy that the new Jailbait 2.0 is becoming a more central character.

In terms of overall plot, Incorruptible is starting to actually feel like it might belong in the same universe with Irredeemable by showing Max’s looming confrontation with this cult that worships the Plutonian.  These blatant connections between the series have been kinda slow to materialize, but I finally feel that the events of this issue might set us up for a some kind of interaction between Max and the Plutonian.  [Although it wouldn’t hurt if Irredeemable could return the favor and at least mention Max as a legit threat to the Plutonian…]

The art team of Domingues and Castro has really refined their style since getting together 3-4 issues ago.  At first they were a little too cartoony for this sort of very serious and adult subject material, but you can see them improving with each issue now.

What’s Not So Good: Even though this is a well executed jumping-on-point, is that sort of thing really necessary?  We’re only on issue #9 for goodness sake!  And we live in the era of iPhone apps and easy to order trade paperbacks.  I can understand the desire to make things accessible for new readers with a property like Batman or the X-Men when you are dealing with a continuity of hundreds of back-issues over decades, but Incorruptible is pretty easy to catch up on.

I am also very ready to see more interaction between this title and Irredeemable.  There is movement in that direction (as noted above), but I don’t understand what all the pussy-footing is for.  Just have Max and Plutonian throw down!  Otherwise all this discussion of how “Max is a real threat to Plutonian” just seems hollow.  We have seen what a badass the Plutonian is in the pages of Irredeemable and the power level of characters who can give him a run for his money.  At this point, we haven’t seen Max do anything but have bullets bounce off him and I need to see some visual evidence that he could hang in a fight with the Plutonian because his power set is starting to feel B-list to me.

Conclusion: A good jumping on point that doesn’t insult existing readers.

Grade: B

– Dean Stell