Irredeemable Premier Edition Volume Five

Irredeemable Premier Edition Volume Five
Irredeemable Premier Edition Volume 5 review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Boom! Studios - 978-168415-125-7
  • Volume No.: 5
  • Release date: 2018
  • UPC: 9781684151257
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

After four oversized hardcover Premier Editions, the Irredeemable saga comes to a close here, and the revelations come flooding out early. They pretty well had to after the ending to Volume Four. Mark Waid reveals who the Plutonian really is, where he comes from, and why despite what might have been presumed, he’s actually very different to Superman.

With the series so near the end, one wouldn’t have thought there was time for a crossover, but there is, and it’s not only relevant, it’s integral. At the same time as he was writing Irredeemable Waid was also writing Incorruptible, about Max Damage attempting to atone for his villainous past, so taking the opposite path to the Plutonian. They clash, we and Max learn more about his past, and there’s a smart and evocative ending.

The regular supporting cast are sidelined until Max has had his say, but Gil, Kaiden, Modeus and Qubit all have a part to play in a finale Waid plots with clockwork precision. Every few pages there’s a new bombshell or spanner in the works until Waid has picked up all the pieces he’s previously scattered and bonded them to good effect. The presence of some Paradigm members isn’t essential, more to acknowledge their continued existence than anything else.

While Waid fulfils on everything he’s promised and been building up to, he’s not served well by the art. Diego Barreto (sample art left) started off on the series as slapdash, but improved, never matching Peter Krause, but previously at least not shown up by him either. Most of this volume is the rushed work of the earlier Barreto, lacking much in the way of imagination, and only the bare minimum of backgrounds supplied, only finding his mojo again for the final pages. Instead of raising Waid’s plot to greater levels of excitement it looks dull when it ought to sparkle. Damien Couceiro is more imaginative, and makes better use of space, although his expressions are fixed and he only draws a dozen pages. Marcio Takara (sample art right) is a greater stylist who swithers between very ordinary and interesting, as if the effort put into some pages means not enough is available for others.

As a series, Irredeemable remains very readable as a base level, and well above that when better drawn. Cheaper paperbacks Volume 9 and Volume 10 cover what’s here, while everything is combined in the Irredeemable Omnibus.