With the Plutonian finally defeated, the impact of his actions still linger across both “Irredeemable” and “Incorruptible” with the two becoming more intertwined than they were initially. “Incorruptible” spent most of its first year being influenced by but not crossing over with “Incorruptible,” something that’s changed in recent months with the introduction of Alana Patel, the Plutonian’s former girlfriend, to the supporting cast, and last issue’s cliffhanging of the remaining members of the Paradigm showing up in Coalville to take in Max Damage. After seeing the two books exist parallel to one another, them coming together more, especially after “Incorruptible” had the time to establish itself, is a nice treat for readers of both.
Part of what makes “Incorruptible” #15 so interesting is seeing how the Paradigm interact with Max. Readers of “Incorruptible” obviously feel some affinity towards Max in his own book despite rooting for the Paradigm in “Irredeemable.” How that trio of heroes act towards Max is reflected through Max in a way, so, when Survivor is being a holier-than-thou jerk like always, it comes off even worse because he’s not doing it to some random villain, he’s doing it to the hero of this book. Waid seems to have some fun with the Paradigm realizing that Max isn’t the same bad guy that they know him as when his response to the offer of amnesty if he works with them is accepted readily under the condition that he focus on fixing Coalville before anything else. In that move, Waid shifts Max from officially a villain to a hero and establishes that superhero characteristic of obsessing over one specific city. It’s been a long journey, but Max is beginning to look like your typical hero.
Except for his crazed sidekick Headcase who has been MIA for the past couple of issues and comes to Max’s rescue when she hears he’s under attack by the Paradigm. Her attempt to replace Jailbait as Max’s sidekick in the wake of her family’s murders has been one of the better parts of the title recently and the way that that subplot advances here is very well done. Headcase charges to Max’s rescue only to be dismissed by both him and Qubit, the latter of whom calls her a poser, concerned that her lack of powers will result in her death. Her response is a big cliffhanger for the book to end on and shows how off the deep end Headcase is.
“Incorruptible” had some difficulty finding and holding onto an artist, but with Marcio Takara, the book has a stable and strong artist. His bold line work and cartoony style are a contrast to the more detailed-oriented style used in “Irredeemable” and gives this book its own visual identity. He showed himself an adept superhero artist on “The Incredibles” and, here, he works in a similar style but not quite as streamlined. It’s an expressive and energetic style, each panel bursting with movement of some kind. His take on Max captures that harder edge while also giving him a somewhat heroic look by recalling the square-jawed, muscular animated hero.
It took a while for “Incorruptible” to completely find its footing and it’s nice to see that it has. Waid and Takara make a great team and are able to keep the book’s identity firm despite featuring characters from “Irredeemable” heavily. It never feels like an additional issue of “Irredeemable,” always its own thing.