Monday, 11 August 2014

New Beginnings - Low #1

by Matt Puddy

Rick Remender is a writer who polarises opinions. I know people who enjoy his work and others who aren’t as impressed. Personally I’ve loved some of his work but then on the occasional project been a little disappointed. So when I see his name on a new comic, I’m both intrigued and cautious at the same time.

This is one of those weeks as Image Comics present the Remender led Low.

Low is set in the very far future and based around a fairly well thought scientific principle that our star is slowly expanding at a slow but detectable rate. In this reality the Sun's expanse has grown great enough that the radiation we currently take for granted has deadly. Man has had to retreat the depths of the seas to remain safe. 

Over time these cities have slowly become few and far between. Even in these times, groups fracture and separate off to become adversaries meaning that even without the impending doom the sun brings, there is still danger all around.

Even though all apparently appears to be lost, there are still those trying to find a way for mankind to survive. Probes have been sent out through the universe to find a new home for humanity, and now one has returned home.

Life has evolved underwater to support a civilisation. The oceans are farmed and harvested, but things are getting sparse. Specification has gone to new depths, with certain tasks being limited by bloodline. The Caine family are an example of this, as only those with their family DNA can pilot the last helm suit of Salus. This is a powerful position to have, but also one that puts them in danger because outside the realm of the city they have become the hunted. This puts them all at risk and the helm suit in the hands of the enemy.

This may look to be a terrible position to be in; outgunned, captured and losing the most valuable resource you have. Not so for Stel Caine, our heroine, who is the eternal optimist and will not go down without a fight.

The story that Remender has written has been brewing for years. Finally he has managed to bring it to print, and you can tell it’s a work of love for him. A lot has been put into the writing and as a result it comes across in a captivating fashion.

Once again he is working with Greg Tocchini to provide the artwork, a partnership that has proven to work well in the past. Tocchini’s work is gorgeous, and lovers of the game Bioshock will certainly enjoy his work in some respects. The helm suit that you see on the cover looks great, but further more when you see the character portrayals inside, they are realistic and well developed. This is massively helped by the colouring work as well, giving even more depth to the pages. They’re a real treat on the eye. There is so much going on in the detailed line art that you get to see the story unfold as much as read it.

This is a cracking first issue and bulging with all sorts of ideas and themes. I will be the first to admit that I was a little sceptical but on this occasion I was wrong to think so. This is well worth picking up as a new title.

Matt Puddy managed to avoid humming "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid whilst writing this review, but only just.

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