Artist: Diego Barretto
Published by Boom! Studios
Our long national nightmare that is the Bad Superman book “Irredeemable” is over as the series finally ends with issue 37. No more of The Plutonian throwing people into the night sky to watch them be charred into a crisp. No more of The Plutonian turning a decent enough fellow from the United Nations into an ice sculpture and then shattering him into a thousand pieces with just a sound. No more of The Plutonian turning a number of cities into dust just because he can. And who mourns for the country of Singapore? I know I do. Thank god it ends and oddly enough, despite the dark depressing character of the book, the finale offers an inspired optimistic ending that ties into the origins of the Original Superman.
It’s one of the most interesting Anti Superhero books that I’ve ever read. It’s completely depressing on just a number of levels if you’ve bought into the premises of hokey superhero comics even a little. It’s clear that having someone around with a Superman’s power would be disturbing even if that person did nothing with his powers like Dr. Manhattan. It’s also clear that it would be terrifyingly fatal if the Superman had some kind of psychotic break like The Plutonian. But kudos to Mark Waid for just brilliant execution of the premise. I found myself completely surprised by the many plot twists and turns in the book. The art by all the various teams was generally outstanding. I didn’t mean the phrase “morbidly depressed Curt Swan” in a bad way. I also like the Kirby/Sinnott “Crackle” around what looks to be the many machines that Qubit builds out of thin air. It looks like some kind of advanced assembler technology that Qubit has literally in the palm of his hands. You can tell that this guy just loves comics.
This final issue brings it all home and wraps up pretty much all of the dangling plot twists that we had been introduced to in an ingenious way quite frankly. I thought he was leaning toward “And it was all an alternate reality dream that I’ve restored…” said Qubit. The End. But they didn’t make it that easy of course the question becomes why didn’t they make it easy? If Qubit can use teleportation to send you back in time or teleport different parts of your body to different places why didn’t he do that earlier? But I digress. In fact, the ending, as I noted earlier is quite optimistic and in fact involves the rebirth of The Plutonian as the Superman myth. Yes that’s a bit of a spoiler but it takes awhile to get there. Here’s the final page:
Nicely done. So by not taking the alternate dream route or preventing the psychotic break from occurring in the first place, or just giving The Plutonian a mother who didn’t try to murder him continuously, (We had better hope the alien child is picked up by Salt of the Earth folks like The Kents…) all those millions of dead will stay dead. There’s definitely a penalty and a tragedy here. There’s also room for more depressing future issues of Irredeemable. Yes Modeus is trapped in the mind of Qubit but you really get the sense that this is the kind of guy who escapes from Arkham. And how does Qubit survive? The immortal character Gilgamos killed the last superhero he thought was too powerful. Surely, he can’t think that keeping a Qubit combined with a Modeus would be a safe alternative for the Earth. Yet how would you kill the world’s smartest man? Or men in this case? Definitely material to chew on if Waid wanted to continue the series…
4.5 out of 5 stars for the whole series. And just great material if an HBO or a movie studio wanted to explore the dark side of the Superman myth, which The Plutonian actually creates. I think that’s called a paradox. Or irony. Either way its very entertaining. About as good as superhero comics can get. I think I suggested Aronofsky before. I stand with that suggestion
Since I have read most if not all 37 issues, thanks to someone posting the 10 or so episodes I missed on Youtube, I suppose this should serve as review for the entirety of the series as opposed to just issue 37. And overall this was just a fantastic series that I look forward to seeing collected. Highly recommended.
- Irredeemable 35 or Doc Doom inhabits Sue’s body and makes out with Reed Richards.(comicsforge.com)
- Irredeemable 34 by Mark Waid and Diego Barreto(comicsforge.com)
- Irredeemable 33 by Mark Waid and Diego Barreto(comicsforge.com)