Or – “How The Plutonian Got His Groove Back…”

The whole planet has gone to Aitch-Ee-Double-Hockeysticks in a handcart, and the few remaining heroes still haven’t dealt with the threat of the returned Plutonian.  Is there any hope for the world?

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Diego Barreto
Cover Artist(s): Matteo Scalera/Damian Couceiro
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Editor(s): Matt Gagnon & Shannon Waters
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Cover Price:

Previously, in Irredeemable: What HASN’T gone wrong?  The world’s greatest superhero lost his mind, the planet is slowly being destroyed by a wave of radiation, and there’s practically no one left alive to save anyway.  Gilgamos, however, may have a plan to snatch victory from the slavering glow-in-the-dark jaws of defeat, but there’s still dissension in the ranks…


The entire planet is bathed in radiation, billions are dead, and the last few superhumans on Earth are squabbling among themselves.  Having taken over the body of Bette Noir, the evil Modeus (greatest of Plutonian’s enemies, and also secretly in love with him) has… um…  done some stuff to Tony that almost makes me feel bad for the mass murdering lunatic, starting with a beatdown worthy of Cactus Jack himself.  The fascinating thing about Irredeemable is that, no matter how dark it gets, there’s always a way for things to get a LITTLE bit worse, a little bit more horrifying and a little more lethal.  Wheels within wheels turn, as the villainous Kurne turns Gil, Sy and Kaidan against one another, forcing one of the heroes to make a terrible sacrifice to save the day, while Qubit barely manages to stop Modeus in time to possibly save the Plutonian’s life…


There are a lot of parallels to the iconography of the characters, and this issue reminds me of nothing so much as the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon, as the computer minded Qubit (in the mode of Brainiac 5) pulls a particularly brilliant couple of moves to save his invulnerable super-pal (I call him Tom Welling.)  The problem is (and has been) that Modeus is possibly even more brilliant than Qubit himself, and makes a shocking move that changes the game forever.  And then there’s a second shocking swerve, and a third, and the issue ends with one of the most interesting cliffhangers ever in a book known for them. Next issue is the last issue of Irredeemable, and it looks like things are going out the way they came in:  With swift and blinding violence.


I admit it, this title had started to sag a bit in the late-20’s, but things have been picking up nicely, and next issue has quite a vicious setup going for it.  For a book whose basic premise (“What if Superman was bug$&@# crazy?”) is so simple, the plotting has been dense and thick with twists and dodges, never going where you might expect it to go.  This issue hits three separate big reveals, all foreshadowed in previous months, all game-changing, and does it with style.  Irredeemable #36 is everything that a second-to-last issue should be, making me want next issue immediately, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. 

Rating: ★★★★☆


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. April 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm — Reply

    Agreed wholeheartedly on every point, and I cheered like crazy at Qubit’s plan. A perfect setup. Also when the Plutonian said “Okay” it was so absolutely perfect… Mark Waid gave us an action-packed issue of epic and gamechanging moments in this issue–definitely deserving of every one of those four stars.

  2. Tbirch42
    April 24, 2012 at 2:05 am — Reply

    Wait what, only one issue left? Damnit..

    I’ve been quite enjoying this series. Looking forward to the omnibus which collects all the issues.

    And looking forward to seeing how it ends. I have no idea really.. either an apocalyptic “Everyone dies” ending or some sort of weird last ditch deus ex machina type ending.. or something between.

  3. Firefox
    April 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm — Reply

    it was all a dream and Bobby Ewing will wake up in the shower.

  4. Noobian74
    April 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm — Reply

    Make no mistake, the twist with Modeus/Bette Noir was CRAZY! One more reason why I love what Waid did with this book. It will be missed, but I’m glad it’s ending correctly, without the usual drama of creator leaving the book and someone of lesser literary value finishing the last issues.

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