Mark Waid is evil. In the new monthly series, “Irredeemable,” Waid gives us a hero who has put his heroics behind him. The Plutonian opens this issue by targeting the family of the Hornet, a fellow hero who once worked alongside the Plutonian.
To illustrate the Plutonian’s deep dark heart, Waid sentences the Hornet’s family — wife, daughter and infant son — to a searing death under the red-hot vision of the Plutonian. Like Superman in the nightmares of Siegel and Shuster, the Plutonian is the non-Bizarro mirror image or the Man of Steel. What would happen — and how terrifying would it be? — if the world’s greatest savior was the world’s greatest destroyer?
The Plutonian is hunting down his former allies and this issue introduces the entire crumbling universe of the Plutonian to us. While the cast displayed in this issue is somewhat daunting, a bit overwhelming, and more than a little mysterious, it is clear that their flight from the Plutonian’s wrath will provide us with the best storytelling vehicle to learn more of all of them.
Krause turns in a strong looking book that demands some unsettling imagery. From the Plutonian’s glory days fighting alongside Samsara to the smoldering skeletons of the Hornet’s family, the visuals present are nearly tangible. Krause has brought his best work to this book, and Waid makes good use of Krause’s talents.
Waid himself admits that this is a story that could never be told at DC or Marvel, which makes it all the more fitting to be creator-owned and published by the company where Waid is Editor-in-Chief. The mystery of why the Plutonian has made the choice he has and how deeply committed to that choice he is certainly offers fuel for this series to continue on. Whether or not Waid can continue to tell stories this dark about evil so oppressive and intimidating without truly becoming evil himself remains to be seen. Yes, Mark Waid is evil. It makes me a little bit uneasy to say that I hope he continues to be evil, because I sure enjoyed reading it. That doesn’t mean I’m evil as well, does it?