Incorruptible #1


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Incorruptible #1


  • Words: Mark Waid
  • Art: Jean Diaz
  • Inks: Belardino Brabo
  • Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
  • Publisher: BOOM! Studios
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 16, 2009

Welcome to the world Mark Waid built.

Mr. Waid does a wonderful thing by defining our main character pages before he’s even introduced, starting with a very nifty credits page doubling as a wanted poster telling us that Max Damage is a very bad man. This point is made all the more clear by dialogue shared between his henchmen, planning their own heist without the boss’ consent.  Consequences be damned, he left them in a lurch and has been gone for months. Coupled with the fact that the world is now upside down, with this universe’s version of Superman, The Plutonian (see Irredeemable... please), gone rogue. What transpires is a spectacular standoff, Max Damage’s return and a line drawn in the sand that sets up one of the book’s major themes: the balance of good and evil.

With his previous BOOM! series, Irredeemable, Mark Waid postulates the downfall of an icon. He chronicles the journey into hell that forces a seemingly good man (or whatever The Plutonian is) to turn. Here, he explores the flipside of that. If a hero can fall, why can’t a villain rise? These themes have been broached in comics before between the Big Two and their multiple parallel crises, but Waid’s complimentary tales are built around this purpose with an air of unpredictability and surprise. No matter how close he may get to it, we know that Superman will never destroy Metropolis in malice, as a villain. In this book, it’s more a matter of how many cities and when he’ll get to yours.

The art by Jean Diaz services the story perfectly with a good balance of action and emotion. The sadness in Max’s face as he tells the police to take his former colleagues away is palpable. This is the expression of a man that now must commit entirely, no matter what the cost. It’s an excellent touch.
Some of the action choreography though is a little hard to follow with the lack of establishing shots: a few of the action beats are a series of close ups or mid shots, making it hard to establish the geography of the scene. It was mildly disorienting, but didn’t effect overall enjoyment of the story.

Incorruptible is a companion piece to Irredeemable, but reads well on its own.  One can’t imagine why you would want to split them up, though. It’s a giant tapestry of motivations and actions that the writer is laying out, hopefully for a larger story down the line. There is no doubt that these two forces, Max Damage and The Plutonian, will someday meet. Every page in this book, from the opening credits to the final panel suggests that it’s inevitable.

The journey ahead promises to be a bumpy one, filled with surprises, action, intrigue and struggle. All the signs point to it being worth the trip.

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