Today marked the relesase of a triumvirate of Mark Waid products, including Irredeemable #13, Incorruptible #5, and the first trade collection of Incorruptible, which contains issues #1-4.
I really have to praise the marketing strategies employed by Waid and BOOM! for these sister series. When BOOM! released the first trade collection of Irredeemable, they also simultaneously released issue #5 for only a $0.99, inviting new readers to jump on board with a new arc cheaply, or to also pick up the trade as well for only $9.99. The publicity campaign posters of “Mark Waid is Evil,” “Mark Waid was Evil,” etc. along with the Irredeemable cologne recently launched have really drummed up attention for what is essentially an indie book fighting for shelf space alongside DC and Marvel Comics. Follow all of this up with the Free Comic Book Day release of both Irredeemable #1 and Incorruptible #1 just last week to draw in even more readers who might have overlooked this series or ignored it based on the $3.99 price tag. With all of this combined with the excellent writing, the best of his career in my opinion, and it’s little wonder Waid received 3 2010 Eisner Nominations.
Waid’s first series at BOOM!, Potter’s Field, was amazing, especially from a writer who most characterized as the superhero fanatic and silver age guru. This three issue mini-series illustrated Waid’s strengths beyond the superhero genre, a darker vision that had rarely been witnessed except for small passages in Kingdom Come. Few writers can dominate multiple genres and Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, Jason Aaron, Greg Rucka, and a few others immediately come to mind, and Waid’s work on Potter’s Field, which has carried over to both Irredeemable and Incorruptible is readily apparent despite the superheroism of both series. For some reason, his Unknown completely passed under my radar and I’m now tracking it down in collected volumes.
One of Incorruptible‘s greatest attractions is Waid’s deviant humor. I love the fact that the author who wrote The Flash, 52, and by far one of the best Superman stories ever, Birthright, has a main character being an underaged sex toy accomplice named Jailbait. I’m enjoying the interplay between she and Max Damage as he strives to change from villain into hero and she, who has no other opportunities apparently, tags along in digust as he torches their financial supplies, destroys their mint car collection, and befriends the local police. Each issue allows us to learn just a little bit more about Damage and Waid is very clever here in not revealing too much about the character, his past, or all of his ties to the characters from Irredeemable. That said, the latest installment of issue #5 does appear somewhat out-of-place or out-of-character as readers witness Damage’s compassion for another character. Waid is definitely building to another “money shot” with this new arc if the final page and image are indication of stories to come, and I hope that those forthcoming issues will give us more “meat” for Damage than the barebones scaps we’ve been subsisting on thus far. Nothing wrong with those scraps, but the full meal is becoming harder and harder to put aside.