Writer: Mark Waid | Artist: Peter Krause & Diego Barreto
Plutonian has been banished by the Paradigm to an off-world insane asylum… but it’s proving too weak to hold him. Meanwhile, upon seeing a darker side of Survivor, Qubit has entered into an uneasy alliance with Modeus, the Plutonian’s arch-nemesis and one of Earth’s most feared supervillains to figure out how to stop the Plutonian once and for all. But what will happen when the Mad God returns to Earth?
This collection brings me up to date on the Irredeemable trade paperback volumes currently available. It’s another great addition to the series, but it was not the strongest of the bunch.
[As with all of my recent Irredeemable reviews, here is your Minor Spoiler Alert.]
Well this is interesting… I think I’ve found the first thing I didn’t love about the series. In the first Chapter of this collection, Qubit and Modeus are discussing Plutonian’s powers and where they come from. While interesting and very well thought-out, I thought by giving the reader such a long explanation some of the magic disappeared. The alliance between Modeus and Qubit has a lot of potential for future conflict, but for the moment it’s also fun to see them attempting to one-up each other on their knowledge of and theorising about the Plutonian’s nature and how to beat him.
The chapters of this collection focus more on the Plutonian, who still stuck in the intergalactic insane asylum. We see how, with the help of another, mysterious inmate, he plots his escape. Along the way, they collect a band of super-powered nutcases who they use to further their ends. The most interesting character for me? The suicidal cutter with a telekinetic problem, who suffers from a very cleverly-conceived problem: when she cuts herself, she remains unharmed, but others receive the wounds. The Plutonian manipulates her (and the other members of their little group) expertly. It’s a dangerous road, through multiple levels of progressively dangerous foes, and the Plutonian’s and his companions’ powers are tested to the limits. In addition, we get some more, interesting flashbacks to the days of Plutonian as a hero (including his superhero debut), which further expand our understanding of his past. Throughout the series, these flashbacks help make the story more satisfying and complete. Waid has integrated them very well into the story.
Survivor’s ego continues to grow, as well as his anger at Qubit’s and other original Paradigm members’ concern about his shift in character. He doesn’t feature much in this collection, however, although I’m assuming, given how this book ends, he will be more central in the next few issues. It’s been a while since we spent any time with a number of Paradigm members, actually. Those we do visit with continue to be interesting, but we only see small bits of how their stories are developing. Kaidan is a central component of Qubit and Modeus’s alliance, but there’s not a whole lot of movement there. It’s a pity, as I think this is the first collection that felt a tiny bit like it was treading water, taking its time to get somewhere. It’s interesting, and there’s lots of great artwork throughout, but I felt the story didn’t move forward as much as it could have.
The artwork throughout is brilliant – both Krause and Barreto have great styles that suit the story and are visually pleasing. They are two of my favourite comic artists, and their work complements Waid’s writing and story perfectly.
As always, a very well-put-together comic, even if this wasn’t my favourite collection. I would still highly recommend the series to all, though.
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