X Reviews … Irredeemable #34

Since every comic is someone’s first, the books have to be able to stand on their own. X Reviews one new issue each week based on their own merit (and yes, “review” can mean spoilers!) A good story is a good story, no matter how long or short the run. This is where we draw the line for…

Irredeemable #34

story by Mark Waid
art by Diego Barreto &
Damian Couceiro
colors by Nolan Woodard
letters by Ed Dukeshire
cover by Dan Panosian
published by Boom! Studios

I met someone the other day and my first impression of this guy was model citizen. You know the type: professional, genuine, mature, respectful to women, so on and so forth. At my age these are the types of friends and relationships I want to have. I have four impressionable children to worry about, so I choose my friends carefully. After a fews days, let’s just say this guy was not the paragon of virtue he seemed.

Once someone has made an impression on you, especially a first impression, it is difficult to adjust that point of view. One of the reasons why first impressions can be so important is they can be deceiving. If you have not picked up a copy of Irredeemable in the past, then perhaps it can make a first impression on you. If, however, you have tried the Boom! Studios title prior, Irredeemable #34 is a good chance for you to have a second chance at a first impression. That is right, can you say “Jumping On Point!”

The basic premise behind the title is the world’s greatest hero, named the Plutonian, decides the grass is greener on the other side and turns to the dark side. (Yes, I am mixing metaphors.) Think Superman in a really, really bad mood. Creator Mark Waid has been lauded for this new look at the archetypal character receiving quite a buzz from the capes and tights community.

In this issue, there is a disastrous event that will kill all life on earth in the next three generations. Qubit recounts how he is able to escape from a prison planet where the Plutonian leaves him stranded and offers him a deal to help save the planet. Naturally the “villian” has no desire to help him until Quibit plays his trump card. He offers the Plutonian a chance to travel back in time to “give him a second chance to live right.”

Wait, you thought I said the title was called Irredeemable? Bingo! The reader gets to decide, at least at this point, what “living right” mean really? Go back to being a hero, or hitting the reset button and being a villian from the giddy up? In order for the Plutonian to help, his power set has to be augmented and increased. Qubit does this and tries to create divining rods that will attact the radiation and save the population.

At the same time, Sy, Kaidan and Gil travel miles below the earth on a quest to find something that will help with the growing radiation problem. Gil, who is more than 3,000 years old, has come to a truce with Sy to find the Judeo-Christian Tree of Life hoping that its seeds can heal the planet should Qubit’s plan fail.

Ultimately, Qubit’s plan does appear to fail and the Plutonian deduces where body hoping Mollus is currently and races to force him to devuge the secret of time travel. Without giving away the ending, after the Plutonian finds Mollus, Qubit is gonna have some ‘splaining to do!

As you would expect, Waid’s script is solid. Although there are a lot of characters in the book who play vital parts, a new reader would not be confused or get bogged down in confusion. Yes, you don’t know who these characters are, but no, you don’t feel like you are loosing any of the story. The one thing thing that really surprised me was the artist change in the middle of the book. Up to and including page 9 was drawn by Diego Barreto. Page ten and on are brought to life by Damian Couceiro. At no point did I even feel like there was a change. Barreto & Couceiro’s art picked up almost seamlessly from one to the other. After I did my second read through, when I was aware of the change, I did see subtle differences, but I think that might be because I didn’t beleive it the first time and I was looking for them.

If you are still a big fan of the superhero set, but crave something a little different, then Irredeemable #34 is a great place to start. I give this book an A. And if you like it be sure to check out it’s sister book Incorruptible. For more information on Irredeemable go to Boom! Studios website at www.boom-studios.com.

For some people, a  first impression can either mean a four dollar bump in the old comics’ budget … or one more run to Dunkin’ Donuts for the month!

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