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Nightmare Fuel / Irredeemable

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“And whatever prayer we had that this wasn’t really Tonythat look on his face, the look that only I had ever seen – that was God laughing at us.”

Unmarked spoilers ahead!

  • The very premise itself. The Plutonian started off as a smiling and selfless hero, always ready to do good, fight evil and save the day... but there was always something bubbling under the surface and it takes a series of really awful events to make him feel heroism was no longer worth it. His sheer power and strength make fighting him futile, and he has no compunctions with whom he kills. The populace is shown to be utterly terrified and suicide has become commonplace. To put it another way: Imagine if every nightmare scenario that Lex Luthor and Batman could come up with for if and/or when Superman went supervillain came true. Only, instead of world domination, "Superman" wants to just kill everyone, everywhere. The only reason he hasn't done so already is for the sake of drawing it out
    • "Fine." To elaborate, it's what Plutonian says after his first rampage: total destruction of Sky City, the city where he lived. He's done with being a hero, and decided to discard all responsibility. And it's just the first act...
    • In the first few issues of the story, you truly understand how hopeless the Paradigm's struggle is. As much as they desperately search for a way to stop the Plutonian, it's becoming more and more obvious that he has no discernable weakness. He is the most horrifying possible version of a Superman Substitute and none of the other heroes stood a chance against him. Eventually, hope does manifest as the story goes on, but just the idea that someone so powerful was unable to be stopped for so long is terrifying.
      • To give an idea of just how dire the situation is - by the time the story starts, Tony had only been rogue for about two weeks. In those two weeks, the world became a hellhole as Plutonian destroyed Sky City, scores of people in the surrounding areas, and apparently the entire sitting presidential administration. The America we open up on is a collapsed state with mass homelessness, food shortages, and an energy crisis due to Plutonian apparently thrashing every power plant he can find. All in a couple of weeks. A military leader refers to himself as acting Commander in Chief, hinting that the President and line of succession have been devastated to the point where elected civilian leadership has been abandoned. Midway through the story we're shown the White House and it's an abandoned ruin with overgrown vegetation, meaning Tony did indeed lay waste to DC fairly early into his rampage.
      • Issue #13 gives a proper look at when The Paradigm first discovered Tony's rampage he was on and it's as heartbreaking as it is horrifying. When the image first comes through of The Plutonian and his surrounding destruction absolutely nobody believed it was actually him (except for Bette, and even she was hesitant to believe it), and automatically assumed it was mind control or a shapeshifter. Only when they catch up as he's attacking an elementary school and he makes it clear that this is from an entire life of misery and abuse (whilst chucking a grenade at a group of children) do they realize it's actually him, doing it of his own volition. After thoroughly destroying them as they try to fight him off and giving Cary and Scylla their matching injuries by smashing their heads together Tony graces us with the mother of all Death Glares and the page image as Bette sums it all up rather aptly.
    Bette Noir: That look on his face(...)that was God laughing at us.
    • Tony's sheer sadism gets a spotlight early on where he suddenly decides to use some irrelevant villain's technology to broadcast some "viewer mail" to the entire world's population. Which really means that he reveals that he's been listening in on random people who mention him, gets their names and lets them know that he will never stop his rampage. He then goes on to inflict Paranoia Fuel on the entire human race by insinuating that he can shapeshift (which he can) and assume a fake identity, comparing himself to a god walking amongst humans. The sheer powerlessness on the faces of everyone seeing the broadcast is unbelievable.
    • There's something unfathomably horrifying about the Plutonian's throne in his sanctuary. Where his hands are meant to rest, there are red stains. Blood. The blood of innocent men, women and children that Tony didn't even have the decency to wipe off before lounging around his home. It's the first good indicator that Plutonian truly is an inhuman monster that revels in the carnage he's caused.
  • Qubit once asked Tony "All that power, all that responsibility...what does it feel like?" Years later, Tony lets Qubit save 10 people before he sinks Singapore and kills four million, and answers, "That's what it feels like." He even glasses the surrounding area to ensure that the ten are all that survive.
  • An alien virus that killed only children, melting the flesh and muscle and animating the skeletons. As if that weren't scary enough, it's sound-based and travels on their screams. Just to be clear: not only the victims' screams but also the screams of anyone else who sees them. The sound that causes this, which only Plutonian can hear before it's unleashed, is something he describes as beautiful... and as mentioned above, is a component of the screams of children dying in agony. And this is before he went psycho.
  • Modeus using Bette Noire's body and enhanced gravity powers to beat Tony to a pulp and then rape him.
  • In a bid to protect humanity from the Plutonian's eventual wrath, Hornet made a deal with the Vespa alien race to provide the coordinates for every Earth-like planet his team has ever visited in return for their assistance in neutralizing the Plutonian. Considering there were Earth-like planets with sentient life, his choice condemned countless lives to slaughter.
  • Every method used (with varying levels of success) to counter or contain the Plutonian is horrific — wrapping him to the point of mummification inside material cloned from his own skin, trapping him at the point of the heat death of the universe (making him incapable of movement or any action save existing for all eternity) and even killing a third of the population of Earth — and ultimately ending the human race within three generations — simply by the act of releasing the entities capable of stopping the Plutonian. Even the ultimate redemption of the Plutonian comes at tricking him into destroying himself, then siphoning his essence off and sending it throughout the universe in the hope that someone will create something positive with it.
  • The day the Plutonian snapped, Max Damage had stolen an extremely deadly supervirus and planned to release it in Tony's hometown. The only thing that stopped him was looking in the sky and seeing Plutonian hovering over him right before he started to destroy the city. Sky City was going to die one way or the other that day, whether it was Max's virus or Plutonian's rampage.