‘Incorruptible’ is a mirror piece to Waid’s popular ‘Irredeemable’ series. In this one, the very opposite thing takes place: we find ourselves with a supervillain who decides to shed his baddie image and become one of the good guys.
It’s a pretty appealing concept, but it pales in comparison to ‘Irredeemable’ for obvious reasons – both because it’s the second of two similar books and because it’s not as dramatic (it can’t be – let’s face it!). Thankfully, it’s set in the same time and place as ‘Irredeemable’ (but approximately a month later), and this newly-minted hero is actually a response to The Plutonian going bad.
Of course, everyone is extremely surprised to discover that this novice hero, Max Damage, has gone straight – especially his partners-in-crime and his teenage girlfriend (whom he now refuses to now that he’s gone clean, seeing as she’s under-age). There is much distrust and anger in response to his purported new path.
That part was credible enough, even though there were lapses of logic along the way. What bothered me the most, though, is a gut feeling that the writing wasn’t especially sharp. To put it succinctly, either our “hero” is a frickin’ idiot, or the writer was being sloppy:
-Max Damage puts a police chief in the trunk of his car so that he can’t see where he is taking him. Then, after arriving at his hideout, he destroys the car and lets the chief out by the back way. Um… thereby making it pointless to lock him in the trunk in the first place (which is lame anyway, because a really sharp detective could maybe time the trip and get enough clues along the way to maybe retrace his steps later. Maybe. ).
-MD burns all the money he’s had stashed away in his hideout instead of giving it to charity because he believes that it is tainted and, thus, must be destroyed, taken out of circulation. Okay, sure, it’s tainted. But isn’t he doing more harm by REFUSING to help people, or return the cash, than by burning money? I suspect that this was done just to make an impression on the readers, but that it wasn’t really thought out.
-Maxie boy only has about one hour a day to shave because the rest of the time his skin is as hard as diamonds. So what does he do? He waits until the last minute or two to shave. Of course, he gets distracted by his (now ex) girlfriend for a split second and he “unexpectedly” can’t finish shaving – so he ends up with one side shaved and the other unshaved. Basically, this putz is so slow that he doesn’t shave the moment that he feels that he can. Or did the writer contrive this only to illustrate MD’s weakness?
Having said this, when Max Damage says moronic things such as “Maybe I’ll let you keep a test tube or two when I tear this lab to the ground”, I can’t help but wonder if the guy is purposely being written as an utter moron or inarticulate clod. However, there’s some extremely lazy exposition along the way (especially that bit about what happened while Max was in hiding – as if he wouldn’t be aware ) that makes me wonder if Waid’s mind was elsewhere than on this book.
B-t-w, is it just that Boom! Studios has a weak art department, or is “lame” a stylistic choice of theirs? Sigh… the character designs are downright BRUTAL in many cases, and the overall quality of the penciling leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, the book is filled with unbelievably artificial poses that may sometimes be used in still photography for effect, but that no one does in real life.
And then there’s the more obvious, blatant lack of common sense:
– at one point the police chief arrives at his home, only to find the front door lock popped in, as though it had been propelled inward from a strong outside force. Except that it was a small, cylindrical lock that was dangling by wires (or strings or whatever). Now, I’m no engineer, but I know for a fact that locks are mechanical, not wired, and that this makes no sense whatsoever.
– as well, Diaz falls prey to another ridiculous lapse in many comic books: that, just because a superhero(ine) is invulnerable (or virtually), doesn’t mean that his or her garb is indestructible. Logically, it’s obvious that impenetrable skin doesn’t shield the clothes – only the hero(ine). But, here Max Damage takes laser blasts dead-on and his shirt remains intact.
‘Incorruptible’ is not a horrible series, but it’s really not great. I may give it another chance, in the (seemingly vain) hope that this was just a fluke. But, let’s just say that I absolutely don’t agree with the praise plastered on the back of the book. Not at all. In fact, I wonder if those people were reading the same series as I did. Heck, were they even reading it (as opposed to just writing praise in order find their names in print. Yes, this does happen… )? If so, I will have to keep that in mind the next time I see their names on the backs of other books.