Mark Waid Talks "Irredeemable"

Running in this month's edition of Diamond Comic Distributors' "Previews" catalogue is a brief essay by BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief and writer Mark Waid on the subject of his new ongoing series, "Irredeemable." As the Diamond catalogue is read primarily by retailers and not the general comic book buying public, BOOM! has provided CBR with the full text of Waid's piece.

For more exclusives on Mark Waid and "Irredeemable," stay with CBR News over the upcoming New York Comic Con weekend.


An essay from the creator and writer, Mark Waid

In superhero comics, pretty much everyone who's called upon to put on a cape is, at heart, emotionally equipped for the job.

I reject that premise.

"Irredeemable" is an idea that's been kicking around in my head for a long, long time. You saw flashes of it in "Kingdom Come" and in "Empire"-but the first was about the ethical price of heroism and the second was about a world where heroism just flat-out didn't exist. "Irredeemable" is, in a way, the third and most complex chapter on the cost of superheroics-a pulp adventure tale of horror about how the lessons we learn about right and wrong as children can become warped and twisted when challenged by the realities of the adult world. "Irredeemable" is the story of a man who was the greatest and most beloved superhero of all time...

...and how he became the world's greatest supervillain.

No one simply turns "evil" one day. Villainy isn't a light switch. The road to darkness is filled with moments of betrayal, of loss, of disappointment, and of superhuman weakness. In the case of the Plutonian, there were sidekicks who sold his secrets. There were friends who preyed too often on his selflessness and enemies who showed him unsettling truths about himself. And those were the good days.

"Irredeemable" takes us down that Conradian path of transformation in horrifying detail, as illustrated with grim poignancy by the unbelievably talented Peter Krause and narrated by the Plutonian's former allies-a team of heroes on the run from the world's most powerful and angry being, racing desperately through time and space to learn the Plutonian's secrets just as he knows all of theirs. How did he come to this? What became of the hope and promise once inside him? What happens to the world when its savior betrays it?

What makes a hero irredeemable?

Mark Waid

January 2009

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