The promotional material that accompanies Boom! Studios’ Incorruptible #13 identifies this issue as being great for new readers. Solicitation copy always makes things sound better than they really are, right?
Find out after the jump!
Writer and series creator Mark Waid unveils a new story arc that clearly accomplishes its primary objective. The only recap information I have to offer is contained within the pages of this book. It appears that Incorruptible and its big brother, Irredeemable combine to form a gestalt pocket universe. On one of the end of the spectrum you have the ultimate superhero turned rogue, The Plutonian. Rogue may be something of an understatement since the guy actually killed millions of people in a televised event witnessed the world over.
You Say Fatigue, I Say Dissociative Fugue, Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off
On the other side of the fence constructed of heroism, we find Incorruptible’s leading man, Max Damage. Having witnessed his nemesis, The Plutonian, summarily eradicating a huge swath of teaming humanity, Damage makes a life-changing decision. Instead of flying the flag for the super-powered criminal element, this wholesale slaughter extravaganza stimulates a massive change in heart. Damage is intent on delivering the justice and protection that The Plutonian has abandoned.
Interlaced through all the capillaries and resting at the very organic heart of this combined story is psychology. What causes people to undergo such dramatic changes to their core character? Perhaps the previously identified character traits were false projections, a mirage obfuscating true inner self? I’m giving myself a headache…
I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
Damage seems to be hopelessly outclassed and outranked in the power category. Damage is no featherweight, but there is only one Superman cipher within these books, and for the time being, this title is held by this world’s only true heavyweight; The Plutonian. Our new hero’s superpower is quite unique. He becomes stronger, tougher and smarter the longer he stays awake. Of course sleeplessness makes for irritability, lack of focus, emotional exhaustion, etc. In other words, he’s vulnerable to the same negative symptoms that the general populace wrestles with when deprived of restful slumber. The first hour or so he wakes up, Damage is reportedly vulnerable to attack. It takes his body some time to ‘power up.’
To help even the odds, our recently transformed hero has a small crew of like-minded heroic friends fighting by his side. In the literal sense of the word, the costumed crime fighter Headcase fills the sidekick role. She’s recently experienced a great personal tragedy (the death of her parents), so she’s looking for some retribution. Unfortunately, we get a few glimpses beneath the hood and it seems that she more than lives up to her namesake. In other words, she may be a few sandwiches short of an undersea adventure. Here comes that headache again…
Police Lieutenant Louis Armadale and Alana Patel, The Plutonian’s ex-girlfriend round out his support team. What’s that? Oh yes, you read that correctly; the former good guy/current bad guy’s ex-girlfriend is now working with the former bad guy/current good guy. It’s not really all that complicated. I’m being serious…
Incorruptible Is An Onion & Tears Will Be Derived From JOY
Incorruptible is a layered story pregnant with large and small themes. I was fully engaged throughout the entire issue and very little of the story’s events seemed overly telegraphed. The role of Alana’s therapist is something of a mixed bag. While it provides for a great way to share some exposition with new readers, the dubious nature of the therapist’s intentions seem like an easy plot device. However, this is only 1 issue so we may eventually learn that this plot point is simply a red herring.
Waid packs in a lot of story in just 1 comic. Nobody can accuse the man of decompression for the sake of padding out a thin storyline. Incorruptible features art by Marcio Takara, a name that I have to admit is unfamiliar. What the images lack in detail, they make up for in expression. Facial expressions and body language are Takara’s artistic emphasis. Backgrounds are minimal but this is sure to be by design, not happenstance. The characters are the story in this book, not the fisticuffs or texture of wood grain on the dash of Damage’s automobile.
Bottom Line: Jump In, The Water’s Fine!
If you’re looking for an intelligent examination of heroism and the impact that choices make in our lives, Incorruptible #13 offers you a great reading experience. New readers should have no problem acclimating themselves to Waid’s unique take on superheroes. Incorruptible #13 earns 4.5 out of 5 stars, my highest review ranking of the year.