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Irredeemable #13 – Review

Last year, at this time, the Plutonian snapped and destroyed Sky City. The Plutonian, for those who don’t know, is Boom! Studio’s answer to Superman. He’s the most powerful being on the face of the planet, but he’s also the most insecure. He’s everything that Superman is and isn’t. Whereas Superman was accepted by Lois Lane upon revealing his identity, the Plutonian was not. The Plutonian’s Lois, felt as if a sick joke had been played on her thus, she rejected him. Then the Plutonian did something stupid: he gave a weapon to a scientist without knowing the weapon’s function. Just so the scientist would stop bad mouthing him in the press. The Plutonian may be based off of a Superman archetype but he is anything but. He more closely resembles DC’s Superboy Prime, a younger version of Superman, with the same powers but not the same maturity to use them properly.

Irredeemable 13Bette Noir has somehow escaped from the U.S. Government after she and the rest of the Paradigm was captured by Doomsday… Sorry, Orian. She finds her father living in a park trying to stay warm. She pours her heart and explains her mistake of not telling the rest of the Paradigm about her affair with the Plutonian. She has the one item that can make him mortal and could have allowed the team to stop him. Her father responds to this by showing her pictures of dead family members. Apparently, Bette’s family conveniently lived or conveniently visited cities that the Plutonian attacked. He gives her no answer and no forgiveness leaving her alone with her mistakes.    

Here we are, a year later, and the first issue is still being explained. It’s understandable that Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man, Potter’s Field) wants to create a jumping on point for new readers by recapping the first twelve issues. What’s not understandable is choosing the least interesting character to do it. Bette and her father’s interaction are ridiculous. She finds her father living on a park bench and doesn’t offer to take him somewhere safe or warm. Instead, she sits next to him on the bench and starts pouring herself out to him after he quickly informs her of his own situation. Not once does this feel like an interaction between a father and daughter. The father is nothing more than a writing tool to bring new readers into the world and not actually Bette’s Father.

Diego Barreto replaces Peter Krause (Power of Shazam!) as the regular artist for this issue. Diego’s pencils are very loose compared to the Krause’s, making for a noticeable switch. Diego also struggles with facial expressions which are heavily used in Waid’s writing. One panel captures the Plutonian looking like a husky high school farm boy, then in the next he resembles an angry old man. Diego attempts to add his own style to the established characters of the Paradigm. The outcome is that the group looks more like fan art than themselves. The coloring for the issue remains unchanged and saves the characters from being unrecognizable.

The real problem with this book is that it only recaps past events. It hammers home the fact that Bette slept with the Plutonian which was crystal clear already. Yet, four issues after the revelation, this event is presented as shocking. The other problem is that it does nothing to set up the destination for the story. If you want to capture new readers, that’s fine and something every book should do. But really, you should convince the readers a reason to come back to the book, not just tell them what they missed.

Overall Score - 5.1/10

I wonder if anyone else gets the joke that the group is called Paradigm and that they’re a paradigm of the JLA… Follow my tweets on Twitter and ask me anything on FormSpring.



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