The crossover between “Irredeemable” and “Incorruptible” continues. The quality remains. This little event at BOOM! has been most interesting because it’s an interweaving storyline more concerned with delving into character motivations than it is the fisticuffs that eventuate from them. As such, this storyline will live on and mean something to these titles because so much rich character-based narrative is delivered. This issue focuses on the origin of the supervillain Max Damage, which is building upon the previously seen actual origin of the man Max Damage.
Much of superheroic storytelling is based on the dichotomy between the lead and the bad guy. The oppositional stances are based on where they each stand and what they want. A good man works to stop a bad man. That’s the simple breakdown. In these binary titles, Mark Waid has broken that relationship by having each member of the struggle base his stance on what the other person chooses. It’s not a struggle based around a central goal but rather on holding a position relationally opposite to the other. It makes this struggle much more interesting and also scarily volatile.
The big concept dropped here is that this all might be Max’s fault. His only stance was to oppose the Plutonian. His only desire was to break the Plutonian. His main goal was to engage into a struggle that would result in the Plutonian doing what he eventually did. Max obviously didn’t think his revenge plan through quite well. It’s a shocking realization to truly soak in.
Amidst the dense character moments, this title still likes to get a little silly. Max’s interaction with the nurse is just that right level of preposterous and awesome. Scenes and ideas like this are what make the two titles perennial favorites for so many. The glorious scene, once Max finally has his powers, where he introduces himself and his new name plays out more like these things should. Max strikes a pose and proudly states his name and his friends laugh at him. It’s a moment of levity that breaks the other poignant scenes. This is how Waid layers the book to make it many things for the many fans.
Marcio Takara and Nolan Woodard could easily be working on any superhero book right now and you’d be loving it. They make pages look like the bombastic comic pages they should be. The action pops, the dialogue works and is uninterrupted, and the zany ideas and outrageous moments have that edge that’ll cut you one way or another. In this issue we range from a genuinely disturbing dream sequence to some angry action to a very naughty set of moments with the nurse. This book has it all.
“Incorruptible” continues to be a super book with muscles and heart. The fact it knows how to flex both in the same issue is what makes this such a success. Our lead character has depth, and his effects on the world around him ripple like a dead body dropped into the middle of a very big ocean.