As per usual with Low, wow, just wow. This concludes the third arc of the series, and what an ending it was. Of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less from writer, Rick Remender. Low #15 wraps up Stel Cain’s story in for this arc in classic Low format. I thought things were going to get better, but they only got worse. For every step forward Stel has taken life pushes her about ten steps back. That is the name of the comic though, Low, and my how far Stel has fallen.
I’m glad Remender decided to end the third arc just focusing on Stel and her companion Zem. While left with a cliff hanger of an ending in Low #14, as per usual with any Remender story there is a ton going on, but never in a convoluted way. Focusing solely on these characters though has been a treat. Looking back these two have been together awhile now, going through hell and back in multiple instances. Having reached a new level of hell, the prize they seek is so close. Zem, really shows his counter balance to Stel in this issue, bringing up something I often think about with any relationship, scripting. When someone treats you as if you were someone else, saying, (here act out this part). Zem handles the situation with such a level head, being so patient with Stel. Watching Zems emotions slowly show themselves is heartfelt and true, Sure, he was a pirate, but he’s also a person, and Stel has helped him remember this.
I’ve been a fan of Stel sense issue #1, the reason being, she is the pinnacle of hope and perseverance. As a stated if you’ve been keeping up with Low at all you know the struggles she’s been through. Whenever reading Low, I often find myself putting myself in her exact situation, and while it may be a crazy Sci-fi story set in the future, that’s the point, to think about the low’s of life. If Stel is able to get through the horror’s she’s endured, then I sure as hell can make it through each day. Yet the ending of this issue left my mouth agape and struggling to make heads or tails. I usually don’t’ have comics hit on such a gut level, but holy shit. I stood up out of my chair and shouted, “Noooooo!”
I don’t even know where it goes from here, I’m still in shock with just how good this ending was, talk about a cliff hanger. If you’re a fan of Stel at all, you might definitely feel some things at the end of this one.
Stylistically of course Low #15 impresses on every level. Greg Tocchinis art paired with Dave McCaigs color palate is as visually stunning as ever. If there is one thing these two do an exceptional job on, its movement. I cannot get over how well Tocchinis line work is, putting emphasis in all the right places. Even putting the smallest details in the frame that one might miss at first, making the image as a whole come to life. McCaigs colors for this third arc might be my favorite so far. Instead of the cool tones of the ocean that have become so familiar, he focuses on warm oranges and reds, bringing a sense of just how toxic the earth has become. The sun is expanding in this universe after all, and he makes this glaringly obvious.
Low #15 is well worth the ending presented, pairing perfectly with Low #14, and the story of Stels daughters the Cain sisters. I just don’t know if things will ever get better for this family, but I look forward to finding out. Whatever happens, I have a feeling Stel will prevail, even as its costed her dearly.
Low #15 can be found at Image Comics or in your local comic shop, I would highly recommend picking it up.