All good things must come to an end, and that includes Mark Waid’s fantastic titles Irredeemable and Incorruptible. Whereas Irredeemable’s end seemed a natural progression, Incorruptible has been somewhat rushed and chaotic. Can Mark Waid bring it all together in this finale? This Major Spoilers staff reviewer finds out for you, right after the jump!

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Damian Couceiro
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Shannon Watters
Covers: Garry Brown; Matteo Scalera with Darrin Moore
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99 

Previously on Incorruptible:  Max Damage was the world’s greatest villain, arch-rival of The Plutonian. But when the Plutonian went bad, Max Damage knew the world needed some form of balance, so he ditched his underage sidekick and lover, Jailbait, and set out to become the hero the world had lost; an icon people who had lost hope could look up to. He set out to become, Incorruptible…


This issue does a couple things well. There’ve been a lot of character introduced over the span of this book, making it a difficult task to give everyone a proper resolution, but this issue really focuses on resolving the relationship that the book started with—that of Jailbait and Max Damage. The issue starts with the resolution of the Coalville plot, solving issues at a breakneck pace. Max explains how he was wrong to let himself be alienated from society in his goal to somehow become incorruptible, whereas he should have focused on doing good for the right reasons instead of holding himself up to some unattainable standard. Mark Waid did a good job of tying in the meaning of the “Incorruptible” title into this final issue, but after the depth involved with the finale of Irredeemable it just seemed to fall a little short.


When you have a chance to end a series on your own terms, it can be an incredible storytelling opportunity, but you’re also given just enough rope to hang yourself. Fans who have been with a title from the beginning have an idea of how they want a book to end; we saw that quite distinctly with the end of Irredeemable—I absolutely loved Waid’s ending to the series, but there were plenty of fans who were left jaded with the way the title was tied into reality.

My hope going into this issue was that Mark Waid would have the same idea with the idea of “Incorruptible” that I did; the only way for Max Damage to be incorruptible is if he died a hero. It’s the same idea as expressed in The Dark Knight; “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” While Max Damage had a slightly backwards start to things, I felt that dying as a hero would be the perfect way to leave an incorruptible legacy.


One thing I was particularly looking forward to in this issue was the art of Marcio Takara, which I’ve grown to love over his run on Incorruptible. Instead we have Damian Couceiro, and I’m not sure whether it’s his pencils or his inks, but the art in this issue just seems washed out—a stark contrast to the bold inking of Marcio Takara that we’ve gotten used to. Nolan Woodard’s colors are great as usual, but I was constantly distracted by how different the art was in this issue.

BOTTOM LINE: Not the Conclusion I Was Looking For

I’ve loved this title since issue one, and I love the series as a whole, but I didn’t really care for Incorruptible #30. I really wanted to get an ending I could rave about for this review, but with the rushed endings of the story combined with the disappointing art, I can only give this issue two and a half out of five stars. Mark Waid is an amazing writer; as I said earlier I loved his finale to Irredeemable, and he’s doing some fascinating stuff right now with his website and Insufferable, but this finale to Incorruptible didn’t do it for me.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

The Author



Once upon a time, there was a boy. This boy grew up reading classic literature--Moby Dick, The Time Machine, Robinson Crusoe. At age six, his favorite novel was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He devoted his time and efforts into being an incredible nerd, mastering classical literature and scientific history for his school's trivia team. Then he got to college, and started reading comic books. It's been all downhill from there.
Jimmy's favorite writers include Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Gail Simone, Grant Morrison, Chuck Dixon, Mark Waid and Bryan Q. Miller. His favorite artists are Kevin Maguire, Amanda Conner and Alex Ross, and his least favorite grammatical convention is the Oxford Comma. His most frequent typographical gaffe is Randomly Capitalizing Words.

You can follow his lunacy on Twitter at @JimmyTheDunn

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  1. John
    June 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm — Reply

    I found Incorruptible #30 to a disappointing as a standalone issue. It is too bad that the art for the final issue is done by a fill in artist. The plot for the last couple of issues has an unsatisfying conclusion (the Plutonian deus ex machina).

    Jimmy, your point about Max dying as a hero made me think. I find that after noble, honorable people die their legacy is corruptible. This is because the hero(ine) idea can be transformed and manipulated as shown in Irredeemable #37. (A less comic-centric reasoning would include real world history and “history is written by the victors.”) It would be terrible for Incorruptible to resolve such that corruptibility is possible. I prefer that Max bettered himself and is truly helping his world.

    The highlight of the series is how Max’s stubbornness caused problems. The storyline where Max tries to recruit Mike Whelan is the best example. Louis Armadale’s reaction is so believable. It is a very human character arc.

    The series ending with Max learning to not be corrupted by the side effect of his powers (hardening his daily experiences) is sappy but nice way of ending the series.

    • Micheal Lockwood
      June 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm — Reply

      Well It’s not like Plutonian just showed up and saved the world i.e. deus ex machina. If you read the final issue of Irredeemable, it makes more sense.

  2. Noobian74
    June 20, 2012 at 10:05 am — Reply

    The issue was like getting something from a favorite restaurant before it closes it’s doors for good. High expectations when you order your favorite dish, but once you have it, it’s not as good as you expected it to be. Glad I wasn’t the only one disappointed.

    • June 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm — Reply

      That’s a great analogy. I wanted to love this issue so badly that I almost didn’t review it because I felt terrible saying bad things about it, but I felt it was important to go ahead and give an honest review.

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