Irredeemable #23


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Irredeemable #23


  • Words: Mark Waid
  • Art: Peter Krause and Diego Barreto
  • Colors: Andrew Dallhouse
  • Publisher: BOOM! Studios
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Mar 2, 2011

Everyone in Irredeemable has an agenda, and it seems every agenda conceals another agenda and every situation is a smokescreen for something else.

The Plutonian’s delusions continue on the world hidden inside the star, but the aliens who’ve gotten a hold of him now are an especially twisted lot, and our fallen hero’s one moment of sanity reveals how truly insane his present circumstances have become. (And yes, that’s a hint.) Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Survivor’s need to establish the good intentions of the evildoers he has recruited to fix the world prove to be a nightmare for the villain he’s enlisted to help him. But someone else wants to know the Survivor’s real intentions, which unveils plots within plots.

Mark Waid has created a truly oppressive atmosphere in which all heroism has turned to something foul or sick, and every character’s motives only deepen the pit of madness and corruption. The most interesting part of this issue is the plight of a villain appropriately called Burrows, who can “tunnel” into the thoughts of other people. It is he who must plumb the vile depths of the most loathsome fiends to establish their sincere intent to reform, and when he learns what he’s really up against, you want to pity him. When Qubit uses Burrows to spy on the mind of the Survivor himself, the telepath’s anguish deepens even more. Being exposed to the rank psyches of not only the world’s worst villains but also its would-be savior puts Burrows in a place perhaps even worse than where the Plutonian is, light-years away. It would be repulsive if Waid didn’t have a peculiar knack for making it all so intriguing, which is unexpected in these days of “grim, dark” comics in which things so are so often just plain repulsive. Gratifyingly, it’s all drawn well, especially Peter Krause’s pages, and the coloring skillfully continues to capture the shifting moods of the very disturbing story.

Irredeemable is a tale of how wrong people on the side of right can go. With every issue, it makes you wonder how much worse it can get and whether any of these people or their world can ever be salvaged, while looking forward to the craft with which it will be presented. It’s just a twisted fascination.

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