By: Mark Waid (writer), Marcio Takara (art), Nolan Woodard (colors) & Ed Dukeshire (letters)

The Story: Max Damage continues trying to thwart the Diamond Gang’s attempt to blow up Coalville with a mega-weapon.

What’s Good: We get a very positive art change on this title!  Incorruptible has been struggling to find its footing from an artistic standpoint every since it launched last winter.  The art started out being “not great”, then changed art teams around issue #5 to art that was “good”, but didn’t quite fit the tone of the book. This is the art look that Boom! and Mark Waid should have been looking for.  Takara’s look has a very fine, thin line that really works nicely because it allows for the characters to appear more dynamic.  Characters that look like cardboard cut-outs have plagued this title.  Combine the new look with his “normal” anatomy study and we have a winner!

There is also a change on colors as we switch to a much more muted color palette.  It is a nice change from the bold reds that we had before.  Incorruptible takes place in a wasteland, so it is appropriate that it would not be a colorful place since everything is so dusty.

As for the story, it is very serviceable.  That may sound like a bad thing, but you cannot have mind-blowing, “holy crap” moments in every issue of a comic (at least not one that you want to persist for more than 4-5 issues).  What is nice here is that we are finally having Max Damage on a mission of sorts.  Before this threat to Coalville, the entire series had been a soap-opera with Max juggling his sidekicks.  That was good, but considering that the hook of the series is “bad guy turns hero” we need to see him actually do something heroic.  Well….this is that story.

The big story of how insane the Plutonian is also gets serviced in this issue as Max and Plutonian’s ex-girlfriend share stories of how Plutonian patronized them (in very different ways) while in his secret identity as a news reporter.  Turns out that Max had kidnapped Plutonian many times without knowing who he had and the guy just sat there and played the terrified news reporter.  Now Max is really pissed, since no one likes to be patronized.

What’s Not So Good: The things that fall into the “not good” category are mostly omissions.  Waid has really handled this constant stream of young ladies in Max’s life well and made them all great characters, but the two Jailbaits are the best.  So, when the new Jailbait (who is going by the nickname Hardcase) spends the issue passed out in the back of the car, the issue does suffer because neither Max nor Alana Patel are as interesting as Hardcase or Jailbait.

Conclusion: Solid and a very nice change in art should help this series reach new heights.

Grade: B

– Dean Stell