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After spending an entire issue recapping the first twelve issues, Irredeemable returns, getting the story back on track. Unfortunately, there’s no sense of how much time has passed since issue twelve when the Paradigm were captured by the U.S. Military. We open with Cary and Orian crossing dimensions via their human sacrifices. It’s unclear why they were in Orian’s dimension, but it does piss Cary off that people were killed in order to get them there. Orian tries to ease his guilt by assuring him that both parties killed were evil men, one a hit-man the other a sex offender. Cary has teamed up Orian in order to avenge his brother that was killed by the Plutonian.
The rest of the Paradigm is still incarcerated within an unknown military base. Each of their cells is equipped to handle their unique powers, but Qubit manages to talk to the team through the light bulbs in the cells. The only person willing to talk is Volt. Gil sits in his cell thinking of a past life in which he was also imprisoned. In a flashback, Gil is offered a rat to eat from Alexander a student of Aristotle. Alexander has allowed himself and his men to be captured so that they can over take the city while the guards celebrate. Alexander shows Gil how to pick locks with the rat bones, leaving Gil with an idea of how to free himself. Gil rips off his remaining wing and uses the bones to break free.
As Qubit gives up for the day, Bette Noir comes to his rescue. She frees the team and the soon discover that everyone one at the base has been beaten unconscious by Gil. Bette teleports the team to hers and Gil’s home to retrieve the bit of wax she saved from her affair with the Plutonian. She makes it to the house to late; Gil has already claimed the wax that has been fashioned into a bullet. Gil informs her that he’s going to kill the Plutonian with the help of Cary and Orian. Orian asks her to join them because of her marksmanship and she joins them. Qubit shouts a warning to the team not to trust Orian as he always has ulterior motives.
This issue is far better than the last and it finally feels as if the story is moving forward. The Plutonian has been established at the bad guy along with most of the other heroes. It’s good that Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man, Kingdom Come) has moved on from this point, rather than give numerous examples of how evil each character can be. The dialog and the story are very solid, but I feel as if there’s a mystery I’m missing out on. Waid has obviously created a back story and history for these characters, but he’s been very slow to reveal any of it. Orian is still the most interesting character in the book and it’s obvious that he’s playing games with the team. Yet Waid has done nothing to build his character or give the reader any insight as to what Orian’s plans are. As it stands he just really wants to kill the Plutonian.
The art was fairly strong with this issue. There are still times when characters faces look completely different and it seems that artist, Diego Barreto, struggles with the character of Qubit. Qubit rarely looks the same throughout the book and his hair changes lengths and styles depending on the page. The world in general still remains empty. After Gil attacks the military base he defeats everyone within, yet a guard’s body is never shown just empty hallways.
The book is still pretty good and an improvement from the last issue. Fans of the series will no doubt be pleased with the latest installment. The concept of the book is very interesting and something that is fresh to comics. But the execution on the other hand is still somewhat lacking. There’s a maturity missing to the book that would make it great. Perhaps Mr. Waid isn’t quite sure where the story is going and having to make it up along the way.
Overall Score – 6.8/10