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Review: Irredeemable #14

Bloody surprising.

Orian and Survivor return to the scene while the rest of the Paradigm work together to escape jail.

The Good

Waid is truly a master of the comics form, spinning consistently-great dialogue that's constantly driving the story forward in a way the truly makes the storytelling involving. Perhaps some of the best moments come when he's able to set the context strongly enough that he can just step back and let the art convey all you need. Some great "silent" moments come in Orian and Survivor's grisly method of returning to Earth, the reveal of the similarly-gruesome way Gilgamos uses his wings to get out his cell and also his offense at Bette Noir's attempts at sympathy. Barreto's talents as an artist really get to shine there. He's able to pull off the big action and spectacle, but it's the subtle moments like that where he really gets to shine.
That whole flashback of his encounter with Alexander the Great was really well done, too. Not only was it an interesting scene that establishes a great, classical tone very quickly, but it also was a great character-defining moment that establishes just how many life lessons this immortal's carrying around with him.

The Bad

As good as the storytelling is, I really wish this title's mythos could have been something a little more modern and uniquely its own, rather than taking off so closely from the tropes of Marvel and DC's histories. That's particularly the case with the opening scene introducing Orian and Survivor. You're really getting into tension of this hard-edged drug deal gone bad and the surprise of these heroes erupting out of them so gruesomely. And then you a demon in half of a wrestling singlet and a superhero in a rather garish costume standing there, almost flying in the face of that. When Survivor blasts with Orian with an impressive display of laser energy, only for them both to shake it off like he just pushed him (or, really, like nothing just happened), I couldn't help but feel taken out of the story.

The Verdict - 3.5/5

I haven't been read any issues before this one and I had no trouble getting up to speed. This was a good ride that really takes advantage of comics' storytelling strengths with some truly effective moments. I only wish I didn't see as many similarities to established characters and concepts.