By Colin Andersen
August 8, 2010 - 21:09
This may not be the most action-packed issue of the series, but Irredeemable #16 continues the story of Mark Waid’s story of Superman-analogue-gone-rogue, the Plutonian in surprisingly interesting ways despite the lack of punching and magic bullets. Last issue was essentially one large, all-out battle so this issue slows it down a bit to take second to examine where are the characters are emotionally after everything that has happened. For some, this may result in a less interesting issue, but for me, this is where Mark Waid is at his best, making this one of my favorite issues of the series in recent months.
We start the issue getting a little back story on Kaidan and her powers to bring Japanese folk stories to life. This quickly moves into Kaidan and Qubit at the gravestone for their team member that died last issue. Waid delivers some truly excellent characterization in this scene and makes these superhumans feel more human than they have yet. This continues as we see the no-longer-winged Gilgamesh being confronted with his own humanity for the first time in his life. It’s just as poignant as the graveyard scene but in a different way. These moments helped me to connect to the main characters in a far more effective way than I’ve been able to yet. Mark Waid is really starting to give each of them their own voice and not just be the stereotypes of superheroes they have sometimes been. All in all, not a whole lot new actually happens in this issue, but there are some important revelations that make me very excited for where this book could go. I especially liked where Kaiden ends up in this issue; it just might help her stand out as an individual than she has while still giving some of the lesser seen heroes of this universe some much needed screen time.
It was also a nice surprise to see original series artist Peter Krause back on the series. Looking back at issue #1, it is very obvious just how much he has improved, even if he been away from the book for quite some time. He is able to convey some very powerful emotions in the characters’ faces and it really helps to make the issue feel much more real and have a much greater impact. Though there isn’t that much action to be had here, Krause is also able to make each character feel powerful when they should be, even if they are just floating in the air. The Plutonian hasn’t felt quite a powerful and scary as he should in previous issues, but that definitely isn’t the case here. Waid and Krause make a great combination, especially for this issue that establishes some new directions for the story. My only real complaint with the art is that it looks occasionally scratchy and stiff, though admittedly not often. He also had some problems getting Qubit’s hair, making it look downright strange at points. Special mention needs to go to colorist Andrew Dalhouse for really setting the appropriate moods with his colors. They always felt just right.
Some may complain that Waid is moving Irredeemable’s
story along too slowly, but I don’t think this is the case. Even “slow” issues like this like this still feel just as fun as the ones with giant battles and it moves the overall story along quite nicely. It’s clear that Waid has a specific place he wants to take the plot and this issue moves the reader in that direction very nicely.
Rating: 9 /10
Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00