Incorruptible #2


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Incorruptible #2


  • Words: Mark Waid
  • Art: Jean Diaz
  • Inks: Belardino Brabo
  • Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
  • Publisher: BOOM! Studios
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jan 19, 2010

Incorruptible #2 by writer Mark Waid maintains the momentum earned from its first issue, while exploring characters' relationships and abilities. This is the role of issue number two, and Waid, along with artist Jean Diaz, eases us into the story’s status quo.

We are brought deeper into the story’s central theme of a career criminal suddenly losing his role in the world. Max Damage was always the yin to The Plutonian’s yang, but when Plutonian set on a path of game changing destruction, Max is forced to question his very existence. Waid smartly doesn’t expound too deeply on this motivation, because it’d be out of character for Damage to do so. Instead, he smartly illustrates this new and unwavering dedication to all that’s right in Damage’s interactions with his former henchwoman and the decorated police officer, Lieutenant Armadale.

Jailbait, his former (and currently underage) full time hench-lady and part time concubine, is given a few wonderful moments. Waid does a good job at illustrating her childishness as well as Damage’s monk-like dedication to his new cause. This is clearly a man that fully commits, for better or worse.

We are also given Lt. Armadale, who could have easily been a one off character in the first issue, as a really fun foil for Max. He is skeptical, cynical, and defeated, not fully buying what Damage is selling. Even after witnessing The Plutonian fall from grace, he is just as reticent to believe this former super-villain can change his stripes. When the three of these characters are together, it’s a really fun read. The determined force, the indifferent child, and a jaded veteran, all under one roof and illustrating the three points of view on which the title stands.

Art chores by Jean Diaz have exponentially increased in favor since the first issue. Problems with layout and some of the action’s pacing are not visible here. In particular, there is a shaving gag that’s not only a double entendre in context, but also a reveal of one of Max Damage’s abilities and perhaps his biggest weakness. What’s even better is that Diaz visually keeps Max’s half shaven face consistent. It’s actually quite funny, having this hard (literally) brute doing recon on his enemy with half of a five o’clock shadow.

Only into issue two, this series is already expanding on a relatively new, but very fleshed out universe. Waid and company are playing with very heavy themes between this and its companion book, Irredeemable.  The separation between good and evil is a very thin line with seemingly insurmountable repercussions.  These themes have been told before in the medium. For example, the theatrics of Batman begat a very colorful rogues gallery. Also, the Earth-3 Lex Luthor was a champion against an evil Superman and Crime Syndicate. 

Incorruptible is the other side of this story. What’s great about it too is the moral ambiguity of it. We are not yet privy to what inciting incident created the switch in Damage. There are no great lessons or platitudes in him. He is merely acting contrary to his biggest foe and competition, as he always did. It creates a real fun sense of balance not explored in recent memory.

Incorruptible is only two issues in and the first two trade paperbacks of Irredeemable are available now. It’s not too late to get in on the groundwork of what will hopefully end up being one heck of a throwdown. These two immovable objects are bound to meet again, and I’m enjoying every second of the ramp up. 

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