I’m a little late to the party, but I’m just now getting around to giving “Incorruptible” and its sister series “Irredeemable” a try. And having read just the previous issue of “Incorruptible” and this one, I’m definitely entertained.
I appreciate that even as a new reader, “Incorruptible” feels clear and concise. It’s easy to tell exactly what’s going on, and former villain Max Damage is easy to understand and follow as a lead character. It probably helps that Mark Waid has started a storyline about Max trying to track down the Plutonian’s former girlfriend Alana Patel, which gives Waid a chance to offer up some exposition (in a reasonable manner) courtesy Alana’s autobiography. It’s a good storytelling device to get a lot of information across in a short amount of time, and it quickly brought me up to speed.
With this issue, though, it shifts to a bit more action, and Waid strikes a balance between fight scenes and the scheming and planning of different groups all starting to set out their positions. It felt natural to me, watching the action cut from one scene to the next, all building up to one of the more dramatic cliffhangers I’ve read in the past month. Perhaps more importantly, I appreciated Alana’s reaction to both Max and his sidekick Jailbait. Having her instantly fall in with them would’ve been hard to swallow, but likewise so would her playing the, “I’m going to ignore the evidence right in front of me” card. Instead her cautious, wary approach feels realistic and helps Alana feel like an actual character and less of a plot device or stereotype. (That said, there is one stereotype on display here, and it’s Jailbait’s drunken dialogue. Please don’t ever write that again.)
Horacio Domingues’s pencils remind me a bit of artists like Stuart Immonen, with crisp and clean character designs that use open space to help define their faces and bodies. I like it, with that slight animation influence on the way he draws Max’s forelock of hair, but without ever getting too cartoonish. Best of all, his drawing of motion comes across strongly; when Max jumps in front of the moving car, the half-crouch feels like Max is ready to explode out of it and into a full sprint at a moment’s notice even while it looks like someone who has indeed just landed. I hadn’t heard of Domingues before reading “Incorruptible” but I like what I see.
“Incorruptible” is a fun series, and fortunately with two collections out of the first eight issues it should be fairly easy for me to catch up. Based on this I’m looking forward to reading “Irredeemable,” but more importantly I want to read more “Incorruptible.” A story of a bad guy going good, if told well, can be enthralling. “Incorruptible” is definitely preparing to enter that short list. I’m hooked.