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No Redemption: Mark Waid Talks Irredeemable

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BOOM! Studios has been known for filling in the gaps where Marvel and DC dare not tread. While those companies have been content to dwell almost exclusively in the domain of the superhero, BOOM! has gone for a variety of genres, including horror, mystery, action, suspense, and more.

With the superhero genre so crowded already, it would take an exceptional concept for BOOM! to venture into that well-trod territory. But BOOM! Editor-In-Chief Mark Waid came up with just such a concept in IRREDEEMABLE, which explores what happens when the world’s greatest superhero goes bad.

BROKEN FRONTIER: What gave you the idea for IRREDEEMABLE?

MARK WAID:
Been carrying it around for some time now and was actively percolating on it for about six months before I began. To be brutally, unflinchingly honest, a lot of it came out of some of the personal epiphanies I had as I entered my late thirties and early forties and really started to get a handle on some of the dark, warped ideas you could potentially take away from the American superhero myth if your point-of-view were a little skewed.

How one way, for instance, to look at the conceit of the superhero with the secret identity is that people love you not for who you really are but only for what you can do. Or that hiding behind a cape may be the only way to cope with the derision and fear you instill in others.

Plutonian, the main character of IRREDEEMABLE, is the answer to the question, "What happens when you give the powers of a god to someone who's not emotionally capable of handling them?"

BF: You're well-known for your love of Superman; is it difficult for you to do sort of a dark take on him?
 
MW:
No. It WOULD be if this project in any way nurtured or magnified any latent cynicism I might have about the character of Superman, but frankly, writing IRREDEEMABLE just serves to underscore in my own psyche how much I love the Man of Steel. I've often said that my favorite of Superman's powers is his ability to ignore the ceaseless opportunities he has to be venal and instead do only good. Plutonian doesn't have that power.
 
BF: People have speculated that The Plutonian's anger towards the masses reflects some of your own frustration with fandom. Is there any validity to that?
 
MW:
It's way more general than that, and some of the thinner-skinned internet denizens are, quelle surprise, reading into it a little much. Plutonian's anger towards the masses has a lot to do with American society's increasing hunger to tear down its heroes on or off the internet, and even more to do with what's really at the core of his anger, which is himself.

That said, I'd be lying if I didn't say that the easiest way to get MOTIVATED to write a Plutonian episode wasn't to hit the message boards.

BF: Is it possible that The Plutonian was evil all along? I mean, someone who was basically a good person couldn't do what he's done, regardless of the provocation, right?


MW:
Nope.  God, how dull would that be? Plutonian's not evil from jump, nor is he mind-possessed, brain-swapped, suffering from some sort of alien virus, or any of those things, I promise.  Again, I remind you, the name of the book is not REDEEMABLE.
 
BF: Am I imagining things, or did the Plutonian off John Bolton in issue #4?
 
MW:
Don't be absurd. That's not the color of John Bolton's hair at ALL. Just ask our lawyers.

BF: The TPB of the first 4 issues just came out; any extras in it?
 
MW:
An introduction by me and reproductions of all of the eleventy-billion alternate covers we've had thus far. And, of course, Grant Morrison's issue one afterward is reprinted, in a font designed to be carved on my eventual tombstone someday as per my wishes.

BF: Issue #5 gives us some tantalizing hints about the role of The Plutonian's archenemy Modeus in this mess, and possibly also one of his teammates. Any teases about what's upcoming in the new arc, starting Wednesday?

MW:
Straight up, I'll tell you that issues six and seven go a long way towards finally showing us exactly what finally sent Plutonian on the killing spree that began our first issue. Charybdis has cracked the secret of what made Plutonian destroy Sky City, and just thinking about it makes me want to go shower with a wire brush.

IRREDEEMABLE #6 will be in stores September 2nd. IRREDEEMABLE VOLUME 1 TP is in stores now.

       

       

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