- A flashback in the first issue to the Plutonian's glory days shows Tony disarming a nuke inside a giant robot at a football stadium and everyone going wild with cheers and praise for Tony... and also Tony hearing some jackass in the crowd making rude comments about his costume. Sheesh. Tony's bitter, dejected expression is worth a thousand words◊.
- Also in issue one, Hornets struggle to save his family. His despair is real, and you can definitely feel his fear. ESPECIALLY when his wife and youngest child are vaporized by Tonys heat vision, leaving behind skeletons.
- Many of the flashbacks to the Plutonian's childhood. You can definitely abhor the things he does after his FaceHeel Turn, but seeing him as a child so desperate for love and acceptance, when his foster parents were scared off by his amazing powers and had no clue how to deal with them... And the one time Tony had a pair of decent foster parents who accepted his powers without fear and tried to teach him to direct them for a good purpose, Tony reveals that the mother had a terminal illness and he didn't reveal it sooner because, as the father said, using his powers like that would have been selfish. The father has a breakdown and kills himself and his wife in a car crash.
- Issue 6: The events of the Childrens Plague is horrifying in itself, but what cements it is a single, brief panel of a mother and father holding a baby sized skeleton wrapped in a swaddle. On top of that, a school bus full of skeletons, a playground full of them...the entire event is dreadful. Thankfully they were able to stop the plague from spreading elsewhere, but Charybdis calls the event a textbook definition of a Hollow Victory.
- Even the flashbacks to when the Plutonian was a hero. He had great powers, but wasn't emotionally prepared to handle the job, which makes his breakdown all the more awful.
- The flashback showing the Plutonian's Rage Breaking Point. After the horrible alien sound virus incident, Tony goes off to meet with Samsara who reveals that he knows that Tony was directly responsible for the virus being unleashed by turning a piece of alien technology over to a scientist and is broken by the fact that Tony lied about his part in the tragedy. Losing his sidekick's trust is the final straw and Tony in his rage storms the scientist's lab and this is the first of many rampages we see, and it's just heartbreaking to see him hit his emotional rock bottom.Plutonian: Is that how this works? I made one stupid mistake, and now I have nothing?
- Gilgamos, having come off a Trauma Conga Line that included losing both of his wings and finding out his wife cheated on him on top of the Plutonian snapping, giving up on heroics and Walking the Earth. His inner monologue is especially heartwrenching, as he states that this is the first time he's really feeling his age.
- The Hornet's motive rant, when it's revealed he sold Qubit's teleportation technology to an alien empire so that they would take care of the Plutonian if/when he want bad, may count as this. He points out that he was just a normal being in a world full of superpowered heroes, and he could see that the Plutonian (who the Hornet truly did see as his best friend on the team) was going to snap sooner or later because even if he truly was the paragon of righteousness everyone saw him as, no single person could carry that weight and expectations without eventually cracking under the pressure. And given that the explanation is coming from a hologram released after he was killed, it's clear he was right and his paranoia was completely justified. He looks defeated and resigned in the hologram, fully realizing the transmission would only be seen when things had gone bad and he was dead. He could have spoken with Qubit on this, but he didn't. Either Qubit would never have agreed to something like that, or he felt Qubit was a superhuman to not be trusted like all the others. He apologizes to Qubit for his actions, but Qubit shuts it off angrily.
- The final act: the Plutonian meets his true parents, who decide to give him some answers to his origins, and the fact that they are able to reach him and gave him the closest thing to parental love he's felt is really something. He finally feels at peace, found where he belongs, and truly regrets his actions... but his parents intend to leave him stuck in a dead universe, saying his punishment (and their mistake) still stands. He pleads with them not to go, with tears in his eyes, but they go with a sorrowful goodbye.
- In-Universe, when The Eleos are freed from their prison (which resulted in a nuclear explosion), their first course of action is to construct a memorial for the guard caught killed in the blast and weep for him.
- The ending is this crossed with Heartwarming: after using Bette's gravity manipulation powers to absorb the radioactive cloud that came out after his parents were released from their prison, Plutonian is horribly weakened, his body disintegrating. Qubit then reveals his true plan for redeeming Tony, spreading his bare essence (as created by the Eleos) across the multiverse in the hopes that someone can take the idea of what Plutonian was meant to embody and "get it right this time". In one universe, it's shown that one of the fragments helps inspire two boys to create the ultimate superhero.
Tear Jerker / Irredeemable