Comic Book Review: Irredeemable #7

We have not reviewed Irredeemable since its debut issue. Therefore, I left that it was time to do another review for this title and see what Waid has been up to with our Superman gone bad in the Plutonian. Even though I have not done a review for this title in a while, I have absolutely loved what Waid has done on Irredeemable. This is an excellent title and I fully expect Irredeemable #7 to be another quality read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Irredeemable #7.

Creative Team
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Peter Krause

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the Plutonian slamming Charybdis against the wall and holding him there by Charybdis’ throat. Charybdis coughs if the Plutonian is wondering how Charybdis figured it out.

We flashback to the aftermath of the attack of the sonic virus that turned a bunch of children into nothing but skeletons. Charybdis and his brother stayed behind to help Plutonian clean up the mess. Plutonian seemed nervous and tried to get Charybdis and his brother to leave and not help clean up the mess.

The epicenter of the sonic plague was a research lab called Protonic labs. Charybdis found something that he thought was just a key fob to a car.

We cut to the present with Charybdis stating that just a half hour ago he realized that the device was an S.O.S. alarm just like the one that Plutonian gave to Samsara. Charybdis says that the lab would not have had one of those S.O.S. alarms unless it was to call the Plutonian in the case of an emergency.

We cut to the rest of our heroes in the Plutonian’s secret hideout in the middle of the Earth. Our heroes are learning more and more about Tony. (Plutonian.) Our heroes are in a nursery with the skeletons of little children in it. The heroes wonder why Tony would keep this room in his secret base.

Suddenly, a woman dressed as Belle Noir carrying a huge laser rifle attacks our heroes. Our heroes run down the hall looking for an escape. Belle Noir opens the door to a room off the hall. The room is full of statues and paintings of Belle Noir. Belle quickly closes the door and tells the other heroes that the room is a dead end and to continue down the hall.

Our heroes regroup and quickly take down the woman attacking them with the huge laser rifle. The woman screams that she is not going to let that bastard pass her around to his friends. Our heroes tell the woman to calm down and that they mean her no harm. The heroes wonder what Tony has done to this poor woman. Gilgamos wants to know why the woman is dressed like his wife. (Belle Noir.)

We cut back to Plutonian telling Charybdis that it was not his fault what happened at Protonic Labs. Plutonian says that the ant farm known as Earth goaded him into doing it. Plutonian rants that no matter what you do for the people of Earth that they are never satisfied and always want more.

Plutonian says that it was just after they saved the world from the alien invasion. The heroes had confiscated the alien’s incredible technology and locked it away for safekeeping. The heroes started getting demands to turn the alien technology over to Earth’s scientists. However, the heroes agreed that such a move would be too dangerous.

But, there was one scientist who would simply not give up. The scientist trashed the Plutonian on the internet and on TV. Finally, Plutonian visited the scientist at Protonic Labs and asked the scientist if he was sincere that would use the alien technology only for good and not for weapons. The scientist swore he would only use the technology for humanitarian reasons. Plutonian listened to the scientist’s heartbeat and knew that the scientist was telling the truth.

Plutonian gave the scientist a sonic device that the aliens left behind. Plutonian then gave the scientist the S.O.S. device. During this entire scene, the Plutonian hears cries for his help from all across the globe. The Plutonian then takes off from the lab to go help people in need.

We cut back to the present with Plutonian telling Charybdis that he is lucky that his brother is dead and, therefore, Charybdis has lost his powers. That without powers Charybdis could have a nice normal boring life without the 24/7 alert and the constant dread. That there would be no more noise. We flashback to the Plutonian leaving Protonic Labs and hearing all these constant cries for help from across the globe.

We cut to Plutonian saving a rich man and his yacht from a ship full of pirates. The rich man complains of the bullet holes in his yacht. The man asks Plutonian to use his super speed and fix the holes. Plutonian answers that he is not a carpenter and would not know how to fix the yacht.

The man continues to complain about the damage to his yacht from the pirates’ attack. Plutonian screams that he owes the man nothing and for the man to stop it. Plutonian screams that he just wants a moment peace.

Plutonian streaks off toward space. As he leaves the Earth’s atmosphere the cries for help get softer and softer. We see the Plutonian sitting on the moon and staring at the Earth. The Plutonian is in complete peace and quiet.

The Plutonian says that he could not have been on the moon for more than ten minutes. Plutonian asked if for the first time in his life he deserved at least ten lousy minutes of peace. After all that the Plutonian had given the world could ten minutes be too much to ask for?

We then see the Plutonian flying back to Earth. Plutonian then hears the S.O.S. transmission from Protonic Labs. Plutonian streaks to the scene and we see that the sonic virus has struck all the children in the area around the lab.

We cut to the present with Plutonian asking Charybdis who else knew about what happened at Protonic Labs. Charybdis says that no one else knows. Charybdis says that what happened at Protonic Labs is one hell of a secret that Plutonian has been keeping. Charybdis then says that he has been keeping a secret, too.

Suddenly, Charybdis powers up and blasts Plutonian with a massive energy blast. Plutonian is stunned. Charybdis stands over Plutonian and says that his brother never had his own powers. That his brother always used Charybdis’ powers. End of issue.

The Good: Irredeemable #7 was another great read. Waid continues to churn this story along in quite an entertaining and engrossing fashion. I am completely fascinated with this dark tale that Waid is spinning on this title.

Irredeemable #7 was another well plotted issue. Waid has a nicely fleshed out setting for the world of Irredeemable. Waid has an obvious purpose in mind with this title and each issue moves forward and nicely builds off the previous issue. This is a technically sound way to plot a story.

I am enjoying this journey as we peel back the mysteries surrounding the Plutonian and learn more about him with each issue. I like that Waid has the same format for each issue in that roughly half of the issue takes place in the present while the other half takes place in flashback scenes. Even though this involves cutting back and forth between different time periods, Waid is able to do so in fine fashion.

Many writers would get bogged down and the result of jumping between points in time would result in a choppy and muddled read. That is not the case with Irredeemable #7. Waid is able to effortlessly shift between the past and the present and give this issue a pleasant flow.

The greatest strength of Irredeemable is the fine character work that Waid has been doing with the Plutonian. Waid is able to show the Plutonian as a truly selfless and great hero, a man with the powers of a god, a flawed man with numerous insecurities and a truly monstrous and depraved villain with no conscience.

I love when writers are able to show the different sides of a character. I also appreciate it when writers are able to show how a character could logically evolve from one type of person into a totally different type of person.

I love Waid’s take on the post modern super hero. Irredeemable has been an interesting look at the concept of Superman gone evil. This is not the most novel or unique concept. We have certainly seen this before. However, Waid is giving the reader a fresh look at this concept and Irredeemable is quickly becoming my favorite rendition of a Superman fallen.

Waid’s view of a Superman gone evil seems the most realistic interpretation of how super heroes would act if they truly existed in our world. Since the Watchmen, most writers when trying to write the post modern super hero focus on the wrong aspects of the Watchmen in order to deconstruct the super hero genre and make the super heroes more “realistic.” The majority of writers focus on the adult nature and violence of the Watchmen.

That is simply not what made the Watchmen so special. It was the philosophical change in the way the heroes thought and viewed the world around them and their roles as super heroes in the world. The violence and adult behavior was just window dressing.

The result is that most comic books, like The Boys for example, focus on “realistic” super heroes or super heroes gone bad simply come off as lascivious sensationalism that lack any substance or creativity.

Waid avoids taking such a path with Irredeemable. Waid delivers what I think would actually happen if a Superman did exist in our world. I do believe that we, the human population of Earth, would take Superman and we would eventually make him a villain with the way that we act and the way that we would treat him. Humans are incredibly selfish and small minded and would seek to build up a Superman and then delight in tearing him down.

I also agree with Waid that the majority of people that a real life Superman would help would be ungrateful like the man in the yacht in this issue. People are greedy and spoiled and would most certainly see a character like the Plutonian as “owing” people to help them with their problems. Entitlement is a common personality trait among humans.

Waid perfectly captured how overwhelmed the Plutonian became with the constant noise stemming from the cries for help from across the globe. It becomes an impossible situation.

No matter how much the Plutonian tries to help everyone, he simply cannot be everywhere at the same time. And all it takes is one failure to stop a tragedy for people to simply focus on that one failure and become blind to the overwhelming good that the Plutonian has done for the world.

Waid effectively gets the reader to empathize with the overwhelmed Plutonian who just wants as little as ten minutes of peace. The scene with the Plutonian on the moon was well played. Some empathy for the Plutonian is vital in order to make him a more compelling and well rounded villain.

Of course, during those ten minutes is when the sonic plague was unleashed that killed the children. This twist by Waid shows that the Plutonian’s powers are a curse. That being a Superman would be the worst burden that any person could ever possibly carry. That the powers of a Superman would require that person to perform 24/7.

This played nicely into the scene where Plutonian envies Charybdis for no longer having his powers. A nice boring life would suite the Plutonian perfectly. It was neat seeing a Superman character like the Plutonian just wishing to be a normal boring person.

The fact is that most comic book readers probably dream about having super powers. Waid is telling the reader to be careful what you wish for. That super powers are more of a curse than a blessing.

Waid does a fine job giving enough of the “adult” aspect to the Plutonian without de-evolving the story into graphic snuff porn. Waid employs an approach much like how Hitchcock used in his movies. Waid certainly has created a wonderful creepy feel to this entire story.

Waid understands that he does not have to show the reader every little single detail. Hinting at terrible and disturbing things always has much more impact on the reader than showing the reader graphic scenes. An unending amount of graphic scenes simply numbs the reader to the violence and sex. This results in the story losing its impact and value.

In Irredeemable #7, Waid hints at the Plutonian’s bizarre obsession with Bette Noir. We get the one panel with the room dedicated to Bette Noir and then we see the woman who is dressed like Bette Noir and who has obviously been abused by the Plutonian. That was all we needed. This effectively got across Waid’s point and left the rest to the reader’s imagination. And the reader’s imagination is always much worse than what the writer could ever show the reader.

I also liked the creepy nursery/playroom full of the skeletons of the little kids. This entire trip through the Plutonian’s “Fortress of Solitude” has revealed what a twister person he has become. This is certainly a much different collection and display compared to what Superman keeps in his Fortress of Solitude.

I also like the physical placement of the Plutonian’s “Fortress of Solitude.” The middle of Earth is the proper setting for a fallen hero. Much like Hell is for a fallen angel.

Waid ends Irredeemable #7 with an excellent hook ending as we see that Charybdis still has his super powers. The stunned look on Plutonian’s fast was perfect. For the first six issues, the Plutonian has absolutely had his way with all the heroes who have crossed his path.

It was time for the Plutonian to actually suffer a setback for once. In order for this story to be truly compelling, Waid cannot have the heroes in this title simply fold like cheap suits the minute the Plutonian arrives on the scene.

Peter Krause delivers plenty of solid artwork. Krause’s style of art is a bit stiff at times for my tastes. And his facial expressions tend to be a too static at times. However, Irredeemable #7 is still a good looking issue. Krause has a nice clean style of art that makes this an easy story to follow.

The Bad: Some readers may not be thrilled with the slow burn approach that Waid has been employing on this title. Action fans will also be disappointed that there is little action in this issue. This issue is more of a psychological thriller than an action packed story.

Overall: Irredeemable #7 was another quality read. Waid continues to make this title well worth the cover price. If you enjoy psychological thrillers then you will certainly like how Waid is delivering this tale. Readers who enjoy stories surrounding a fallen hero will certainly find Irredeemable appealing. This title is a creative and original story that effectively captures the reader’s attention from start to finish. Irredeemable is one of the better titles on the market and will probably appeal even to readers who have never been a fan of straight-up super hero stories.