Irredeemable, Vol. 2 by Mark Waid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The retelling of the downfall of a superhero continues, and it only gets more distressing. This story unfolds like layers from an onion. We learn that as Plutonian destabilizes further, dark desires and obvious mental dysfunction is revealed. But the thing that makes this an even better read is that while each person is accountable for their actions, we can also see how others can harm and injure a person until they are closer to snapping and going to the dark side. And each of the members of the Paradigm have something to hide.
Plutonian is guilty of trusting the wrong people to do the right thing, and wanting a life that doesn't belong to him. This along with the untenable burden of being a savior for mankind from every thing designed to harm them (and the repercussion of his failures), has put too much strain on this once superhero.
This book is painful to read in some ways. I keep thinking, if only he hadn't done that, and someone hadn't hurt him that way, then maybe he wouldn't have become a mass murderer and a truly evil supervillain. But it's not that simple is it? We always have a choice. And as Peter Parker's sage uncle said, "With great powers comes great responsibility." So Plutonian as a man of such great power, had even more responsibility, even if he lacked the steadfast character to maintain as a paladin and protector of the world.
This graphic novel is far from light reading, and it undermines the golden image of superheroes in a way that is deeply affecting. But even while it's the way you never want to see superheroes, it's a powerful story and graphic novel in its own right. The artwork is gorgeous, and the storytelling excellent. It's like one of those mysteries where you start out with the dead body and the culprit, but you go back in time to see how everything happened in the first place.
I'm in this for the long run now.
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