writer: Rick Remender / artist: Greg Tocchini / Image Comics
Low is one of those titles from Image Comics that really makes me thankful that there’s comics outside the superhero genre that comics are known for. Not that I’m dissing superheroes because that’s initially want drew me into comics but every time I pick up an issue of Low, I am reminded of all the the infinite possibilities you can see through the medium that are graphic novels and comics. I’ve always considered this very book a sleeper hit because I don’t see too many people in my circles reading it but I wouldn’t say it is at all unpopular.
In fact, I count it as a book that as gorgeously illustrated as it is realistically sure to depress you. Hah! You must be looking around asking just what type of review you’ve stumbled upon. I’m fan of this comic, let me assure you. I’m still a little stuck on describing in words just what it is that pulls you. That lures you in. That drags you down into the story. Just what is it about this comic that brings you low–deep into the pages of the superb little story and keeps you attached to the characters and the plights they face?
Do we see ourselves in Stel, a woman who previously, didn’t feel she had much to lose–who now feels like lost everything? Her sole purpose of igniting hope cause caused her to question her life’s path now that she feels she’s lost what little family she had left? Or do we see ourselves in Marik or Tajo, Redemption arcs fulfilled but at what cost? And Della , whom I was reminded by one of our reviewers (Thanks Terrance!) is probably Stel’s other daughter, whom Tajo said was separated from her years ago–what of her–a killer of hope. Is she also someone some readers see glimpses of within themselves? A terribly conflicted woman who falls back on some identity of herself that she’s created for herself that consists of cutting down others to survive? But OH MY GOODNESS, please don’t mind me. Let me get back to the actual review.
So last issue we were reintroduced to Della and introduced to the life she created for herself in another one of the few remaining underwater cities. This issue we come back to Stel in the direct aftermath of what happened in Issue #6 having just barely escaped the blast of the ruined city by the hands of Tajo. She is not alone, joined by the two last remaining members of Marik’s ragtag crew that joined him to fight in the arena. But she feels alone. Marik is dead. Tajo deserted her. Della, she’s not even sure if she’s alive. Stel has plummeted to new depths of despair and its up to a former crony of Roln’s and a former slave whom where inspired by Marik to now help her to the surface to finish her mission.
Writing wise, Rememder gives another jaw-dropping issue where revelations come to light and we see the hintings of characters becoming more than what they were before. It’s remarkable to see that Stel has become catalyst to so many now. Who is to say that won’t come back to haunt her now that she feels that its all been for nothing? Art wise, Tocchini doesnt fail to deliver art that is too lovely to turn away from, even from in the face of terrifying creatures that come out of the deep. With the exception of a few panels where Stel’s facial expressions looked wonky, Low remains a very solid read that continues on with consistency.