In the comic book industry, creators often become as worshipped as their creations. It is only in back-room whispers that people infer that comic book luminaries like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby may have done something, anything that was less than stellar. The comic book industry is small, it’s hard to get in with the big dogs and very few are willing to risk their potential careers with an off-handed comment about idols.
It’s not just the original creators that get held high above the average creators, it’s guys like Mark Waid too. But I’m really bad at hero-worship and that trait has put me in awkward situations more than once while hanging around comic book people. A great example is one day early in my comic book life, when I was sitting at a table outside a comic convention, and at the table next to me were two guys having a conversation. I noticed people coming by and waving, lots of smiles for these handsome gents, that kind of thing – I thought little of it. So, eventually, someone I know came by, sat down at the table with me and whispered to me, “Dude, that’s Mark Waid and Grant Morrison over there talking!” My friend was shocked that I was not salivating to speak with them. Yeah, I’m a fan of their work but unless we’re going to sit down and talk about writing or something more meaningful, I’m not going to go all Beatles-Fan on them.
So, that having been said, when I read a book by one of “the bigs”, I don’t take for granted that it is going to be great or even good – I just think there is a higher chance that it might be. Incorruptible volume 01 sat in my stack of books to read for a very long time. I’ve heard friends talk about it and I’ve read Irredeemable volume 01 (I’ll save talking about that for a different article) but I was not driven to read it until recently – I put it at the top of my stack and here I am, feeling compelled to talk about it.
I’m a fan of reinventing how we see protagonists, specifically super-heroes in the comic book worlds – I also like seeing new heroes, new characters and new viewpoints. With Incorruptible, we get all of that and more. Mark Waid actually proves why he sits high in the rungs of popular comic book writers. Incorruptible volume 01 made me interested in reading the other trades and checking out Irredeemable again. The crux of Max Damage, the main character in Incorruptible is that he used to be a major villain in the universe until he came face to face with Plutonian, the main character from Irredeemable on a rampage, killing thousands and destroying a city. This story introduces an interesting character but it also makes the universe of Irredeemable/Incorruptible that much more interesting and complex. This books also gets bonus points for not having “obligatory” female flesh-peddling as a way to “draw an audience”.