Irredeemable #12 - Untitled - Waid, Krause and Barreto
Story - Mark Waid's Irredeemable is probably the Indie success story of 2009, it's dark and vicious take on various DC archetypes, in particular a crazed Superman has been a lot of fun. Waid knows enough so much about Superman, that it's a joy to see someone with so much passion undercutting and making his hero into a villain. I've particularly enjoyed how Waid has built the Universe, through flashback, and also through companion book Incorruptible, the Irredeemaverse is a fantastic addition to comics.
Which is why it's annoying that this week's issue isn't exactly the best we've seen, and is quite disappointing. There are still strong elements, but I wasn't feeling it like usual. I think much of that comes down to the scenes involving the Paradigm (the JLA) fighting Orian, a big grey demon. The majority of these characters have not been particularly well-developed, and when it comes to a character like Bette Noir, who is really central here, who's analogue isn't especially apparent (a bit of Black Canary? A bit of Hawkgirl? Huh?), it's hard to care about her. The scenes where she breaks down and admits to some great crime (I'm, not quite sure what it is, not telling everyone about that magic candle? Or is the big reveal still to come? I didn't really care. Cary's heel turn is also annoying me, as is the Government's involvement, let's get back to the core of the book and have the Paradigm fight the Plutonian!
Things are better on the Plutonian side of things however. Tony really is a fascinating character, I love seeing his thought process, he's just so fucked-up, but you can also see where he's coming from in a way. What he does to his adopted family is just shocking. I'm also interested by the Samsara/Modeus plotline, Waid has handled this very well, very subtly, and I can't wait to see what happens.
So, this was only really a half-decent issue of Irredeemable, the Paradigm scenes were disappointing, but the Tony stuff was just as good, if not better than what came before. But every issue of this book is part of the wider tapestry, and you can't really discount this issue, he could become retroactively awesome. Who knows? I was a huge fan of JMS and Gary Frank's sadly abandoned Supreme Power, and Irredeemable continues to fill that gap for me, I enjoy it every month, and while this issue was a little bit of a let-down, the book is still very much worth picking up.
Art - The art is also a game of two halves this issue, the first 12 pages are drawn by Barreto, and his work is adequate, but lacks polish, once Peter Krause steps back in, things improve, along with the story. Krause really is a good fit for this book, his style is clean and classic, perfect for contrasting what Superman analogues should be, with what Irredeemable is. It's a shame he's been falling behind and not been able to pencil the entirety of each issue, but hey, Barreto is OK really.
Best Line - 'Cheerio'