Comic Review: Low #1 (Image Comics)

Published by Image Comics, August 2014
Story: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini
Colors: Greg Tocchini
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Covers By: Greg Tocchini

Synopsis: Another story by Rick Remender and don’t worry, it isn’t a bad thing. He’s been on fire as of late with ideas literally falling from his head. Yeah, I mean that literally because with all the projects he’s writing for over the past 2 years I picture him holding a bucket under his head as he tilts it displaying a waterfall like scene of ideas spewing from the man’s head.  Any ways, so here we are with another series from Image Comics concerning an apocalyptic storyline with a slightly different twist. Taken from the afterword, “LOW is a story about one woman’s eternal optimism, to burden the sorrows and the crushing weight of a world without hope.” In a distant future our sun has burned through its main fuel source of hydrogen.  It has begun expanding as it enters into its second stage burning the next most abundant fuel source, helium. On earth, what remains of man now resides near the ocean floor. There has been a long running attempt to find an inhabitable place off-planet with no success and time is running out.

We open up our story with Johl and Stel having just finished exercising so to speak.  We are provided a brief but informative standing of the current state of earth and its inhabitants.  We learn of the many probes sent out in search for a new home for what remains of the human population huddled near the ocean floor where the suns radiation can do the least amount of damage. Thousands of years have past and these probes have been unsuccessful with their mission, except one.  During this discussion we learn quite a bit including the tidbit of knowledge concerning a third mythical city. Apparently this city holds some special meaning or purpose to this story and I imagine we’ll be revisiting this topic later in the series.

We then follow the Caine family as both daughters are introduced as the next heirs to the Helm suit. The bloodline of Caine, or better yet the DNA of Caine is the key to activating and controlling the suit. This mysterious looking battle-like suit is apparently very old and provides some type of protection valued enough to become somewhat mystical to the people of this city. Think of it as a small Gundam Wing battle suit or better yet the mythical armor in the current series X-O Manowar by Valiant Entertainment, another favorite publisher I follow. As the girls prep for the hunt with their parents we partake in a brief historical lesson concerning the bloodline of Caine.  We also learn of the Scurvies, although to be honest not much detail is given. The hunt is the pursuit and killing of a half octopus, half giant squid like creature referred to as a Mammoth.  We later learn that it may be more intelligent than previously thought.

Towards the end of our first book we see the eventual antagonist enter stage left and find that these Scurvies do look a bit freaky at first but then more human as we reach the last page of the book. I’m not sure exactly why that is, if it had meaning, or just a disconnect between art and story but the Helm Suit is lost, the kids are taken, father mortally wounded, and a mother with a mission. I’m not sure where this is going but the artwork alone will keep me for a few issues, so let’s see shall we?!

Layout & Flow: First off, holy crap the cover alone would make anyone buy the comic. It’s like flipping through an art book and that being said was about the only thing to be revered as the story is jumbled up a bit. I must admit that some of the imagery is hard to understand in that while reading the story it was hard to gauge the emotional aspect of the Scurvies, besides their leader.  That was the most problematic feature of the artwork and that made it a little difficult to follow the story. I know Remender’s book will make more sense here soon and I hope both art and story sync up nicely in issue #2.

Verdict: Overall the first issue definitely delivered on art work. I mean Greg Tocchini’s art was simply amazing!  On the flipside, Remender’s story needs a little more ground work in order to sync up with both artwork and character placement as I’m still confused at what is exactly going on between both factions of men. I’m also a bit confused who the Scurvies are and why sometimes they are depicted as creature like and then like a common man.  Other than that this was a great first start to an interesting depiction of a future that doesn’t involve an alien invasion!

Rating: 3.5/5

Official Site: Low

Wikipedia: Information on our Sun


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