Those versed in space lectures know that the sun will enter a state of becoming a supernova in roughly 7 billion years. Once it explodes, it will annihilate everything. Everything that humankind has achieved or will potentially accomplish will be destroyed. So sets the nihilistic background for Low, the new comic series created by Rick Remender with art by Greg Tocchini. It begins with a doting and warm post coital conversation between Stel and her husband Johl. Stehl has been distracted with thoughts of finding another planet for humankind.The couple decides to involve their two daughters Tajo (dark haired child) and Della (white haired child) in the family legacy of operating the helms by taking them out on a little field trip. A field trip where they operate some sort of squid-like ship under the sea surrounded by gigantic sea monsters. Nothing could go wrong, right? Well, let’s just say the gigantic sea monsters are not the scariest creatures out there.
My initial read through of the comic was very slow going. This was simply due to trying to visually make sense of what was going on.. Despite the arts unique and stunning style, the reader has to constantly refer back to the narrative to make sense of it all. This can make for a very frustrating read where you are constantly taken out of the comic. The best way I can describe Tocchini’s style is abstract with retro flair with fluid style. I can easily see the characters coming off of a fifties television show. I was even lulled thinking that this was an undersea Swiss Family Robinson story. That view quickly changed when the story went heart-breakingly dark.
The events at the end of issue #1 of Low highlights Stel’s importance. As Johl narrates in the beginning, his wife’s irrational but powerful hope is what fuels the family. I can definitely see that her hope will definitely be tested.
Each subsequent readings brought forth many questions. Mainly what happened to humanity? Is this 7 billion years into the future and humans are forced to seek shelter under the sea? Is that even earth? Why is there only one family that is able to operate the suit? I sense a history of genetic back stabbing.
Low is available now from Image comics.