By: Mark Waid (writer), Peter Krause & Diego Barreto  (art), Andrew Dalhouse (colors), Ed Dukeshire (letters) & Matt Gagnon (editor)

The Story: The Plutonian is in a weird place and drama swirls back on Earth.

What’s Good: What makes Irredeemable a special and important comic book is when it does stuff that you just wouldn’t see in a comic like Justice League of America or the Avengers.  It isn’t that the writers of those Marvel/DC series don’t have these types of ideas, but someone on the editorial or publishing side of the house will say, “No….you can’t do that!”.

This is a slight SPOILER, but at the end of the last issue, because the Vespans (uber-powerful aliens) didn’t think that their normal prison would hold Plutonian, he was dropped into a black hole.  Here we have a silent opening and see catatonic Plutonian on the surface of some weird planet, he’s being picked up by two aliens, they seem to be helping him, now they’re giving him a bath, now they’ve dressed him in a bathrobe, now… WAIT A MINUTE, WHY DID THE ALIENS JUST DROP THEIR PANTS.  OH GOD!  LOOK AWAY!  LOOK AWAY!  LOOK AWAY!

And it is scenes like this that make Irredeemable a great book: It is unafraid to do strange, warped and awful things to its characters.  That is really important because we readers are always trying to guess what will happen next.  With a Marvel/DC comic you just kinda know that out of limitless possibilities, the story is “go guess,” or it stays in a certain safe range of stories.  No one will ever say, “Remember in Batman #709 when Batman got molested by aliens?”  That’s just how it is.  Irredeemable could literally go anywhere!

The action back on Earth is pretty compelling too as we follow the Paradigm’s plan to issue amnesty to super-villains if they will only help rebuild Earth.  It seems like lots of long running plot elements regarding Survivor and Modeus are about to come to fruition.  I don’t want to spoiler too much here (especially since I spoiled something above), but after watching the action on Earth kinda spin its wheels for a few issues, I am really compelled by this series again.

The art is typically strong.  Although Krause and Barreto share art duties, they mesh their styles enough that only the truly observant are going to notice the difference.  These guys have very strong story-telling ability and there is no place in this issue where you’ll be confused about what is going on.  They also have a nice, realistic style and they conform very well to human anatomy (which is important for that style).

What’s Not Quite Good: Nothing is wrong.  The only thing holding this back from an “A” is that I’d (again) like to see the art be a little more experimental.  I think there was a chance to do that during the Plutonian’s weird scenes.  Do some interesting things with panel design or layouts!  To get an “A”, the story has to be 10/10 and the art has to be 10/10 (with 5/10 being average).  This is “only” 7.5/10 art, so I can’t give the book an “A”.

Conclusion: Irredeemable has regained its sick and warped “edge”.  If you’re sick of reading superhero books that play it safe, you should really check out this series from Boom!.  It’s a great tale with very capable art.

Grade: A-

– Dean Stell

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