Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: Greg Tocchini
Low #2 is an interesting comic. Is it good? Yeah, I would say that it is. Does it have its faults? The answer to this question is the same as the first. A lot was established in the debut issue, and that doesn’t much help this issue. There’s just a lot going on, and none of it really feels interconnected. I’m sure that, in a few issues, and by the time the first trade rolls around, Low will be fully established, and everything will end up making at least a limited degree of sense. It’s not that the comic is confusing, it’s just that it feels like its being crushed under the weight of the multiple plot points.
In the first issue, we were introduced to the Kane family. They seemed like a fairly happy, normal family, aside from the fact that they live thousands of years in the future. This was quickly ripped away from them, as their two young daughters were kidnapped and the father was killed in an attack by undersea pirates. Now, ten years later, we meet up with the mother, and the last of the three children, Marik. One of the bigger issues with this issue is the way in which Marik is re-introduced. It’s a three page sex scene that feels completely unnecessary. What comes afterwards is great characterization, and generally I don’t find sex in comics to be offensive. Here, however, it feels entirely out of place.
That being said, the rest of Marik’s arc in this issue is pretty solid. He’s gone from being the happy go luck teenager we briefly met in the first issue to a jaded, messed up wreck of a human being. Of course, we don’t know why, though it is reasonable to assume that it’s a result of him losing his father and two sisters. Meanwhile, his mother, Stel, has gone from the inspiring, optimistic character we met in the first issue to an absolute emotional wreck. The problem with this is that we don’t get to see the ten years in between the first two issues, so her depression at this point feels fairly unearned. We don’t see her descent into hopelessness, rather, we’re just expected to accept it at face value.
Do I still love her character? Yeah, she’s pretty great. I just wish we could have seen more of her before she slipped into the state that she’s in now, so that we could establish a more solid contrast between the two. Low, as Remender has pretty much said himself, is a commentary on depression, and that’s great subject matter. The concept is great, and I wouldn’t say that it fails in terms of execution. What I will say, however, is that the execution could be improved if this were read as a complete story, rather than as 20 or so page issues that come out on a monthly basis.
All in all, I would say that Low is a very good comic. This second issue is flawed, yes. Despite that, however, it’s still a great read, if only for the commentary on loss and depression. Thematically, the book is absolutely awesome. The execution could be better, yes, but at the same time, it isn’t terrible. This leaves us with a comic that, while very good, doesn’t quite match up to some of the other work that Remender has produced of late.