After three issues, we finally get to see how the world is reacting to the Plutonian’s villainous turn, which has included destroying at least one city, and killing millions. While the focus up until now has been the Plutonian’s former allies trying to find out anything they can about him, this issue touches upon the world in a bigger way, with the United Nations preparing a response.
What’s most interesting about this response is how torn it is with the usual rallying cry of taking the fight to the murderous monster — while other nations fight over who gets to declare the Plutonian sovereign ruler as a way of, hopefully, avoiding his wrath. The scene at the UN is rather funny with delegates all proclaiming the Plutonian their leader, but funny in that dark way that Waid has really mastered in this series. Often, he walks that line between horrific and laugh-out-loud hilarious since the situations are so absurd and hard to deal with other than through laughter.
What isn’t funny is the Plutonian’s reaction to so many nations begging for him to be their new leader. Keeping in line with what we know about the character, Waid has him respond to one nation in a way that truly drives home how far gone this former hero is. Not only that, but his interactions with this issue’s narrator, Qubit, are even darker, twisting the hero’s former goals into nothing more than a mockery.
The pacing on this issue is a little off as Waid tries to stick to the ‘done in one’ feel a bit too much, which is making this series read too slowly. A lot of what happens in this issue could have been conveyed in a shorter period of time. All of which is a fancy way of saying ‘this issue is over too quickly and I want more,’ a sort of backhanded compliment.
The discovery of Peter Krause is one of the best things about this book since he has that right mix of classic superhero art and realism that “Irredeemable” requires. He does have a problem with backgrounds as a lot of panels have generic colors for backdrops, but, otherwise, he’s been fantastic.
This issue is no different with his ability to shift between flashbacks and the present in the opening pages effortlessly. I really like how, in flashbacks, he uses softer lines for panel outlines, giving those scenes a subtle, different feel, like a memory.
“Irredeemable” is shaping up to be a good examination of what would happen if Superman were to turn evil, but Waid is also managing to avoid most of the pitfalls a concept like that has. So far, it’s been an enjoyable, darkly funny, and engaging read. Well worth checking out.