Low #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Hundreds of thousands of years into the future the Earth will be swallowed by the expanding sun and life as we know it will be wiped out in a universal inferno. As time continues to tick by on this apocalyptic clock, humanity has retreated under water to build cities in the deep blue to avoid the impending radiation from the threatening sun. Searching for habitable planets and the chance at a new beginning, life always clings to a thin concept that ultimately strings together the prosperity and evolution of mankind…
From the writer of recent Image blockbusters, Black Science and Deadly Class, Rick Remender, and the cover artist of Hinterkind and interior artist of Uncanny X-Force, Greg Tocchini, comes this new epic sci-fi series that plunges into the depths of human defeat and struggle with LOW number 1. Following the Caine family, LOW, creates a very vivid vision of an aquatic dome world named Salus built by desperate scientists as they search for a new planet to populate but despite the dire reality, Stel, the Caine family matriarch, feels that without optimism for the future there can be no hope to shape a better one.
Remender’s strengths as a sci-fi world builder really get to stretch in LOW just as they do with the current ongoing at Image, Black Science and his previous series Fear Agent. A speculative environment, based on the impending doom that mankind faces with the eventual destruction of the sun, LOW is a perfect backdrop for someone of Remender’s bitter and punk rock attitude and writing style. Showing the cruelty and selfishness of people as they squabble over trivialities and violently take what they want ignoring all consequences, we see a desperate family try to find a better world for the future while still having to dodge the typical follies of man. The real hook of the series is in one of its leads, Stel, a Reed Richards type scientist who spends her time attempting to track down salvation and clinging to the idea that she can provide something better for her children. Its this outlook and ultimate message that LOW delivers that is unique and promising in a world as dark and perilous as this one.
Greg Tocchini absolutely excels with his interior artwork in this first issue. Beautifully developed and painted landscapes in an underwater sanctuary show off his universe building and his smooth nature design creates a world that is gorgeous in LOW. Deep down underwater stations and domes that house all of our people bloom over many of the issues two page spreads, each one more inventive and impressive than the last. Tocchini’s visual engineering of the Helm Suits that many of the explorers and warriors in this drowned world wear is awesome and its appearance on the main of 6 different covers is another highlight of the great looking book.
LOW quickly evolves from an intriguing speculative fiction into a raucous action comic and in these sequences the underwater monsters and pirates that Tocchini gets to draw are spectacular. This new number 1 is a well rounded title with ample universe creation and presentation, an optimistic message and a rapid escalation that explodes into stressful but enjoyable action and drama.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior
Follow him on Twitter @Ghost_Factory
Listen to his music www.Ghostfactory.bandcamp.com, read his comic series with Shae Frank, www.wildrosecounty.com or follow the Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast www.Geekstampede.com