Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: Greg Tocchini
Rick Remender is in an interesting position in the comic book world right now. On one hand, he can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble (most recently, with the Remendergate and the Jet Black/Falcon relationship, but a quick Google search reveals that people have been trying to get him fired for well over a year), and on the other hand, he keeps turning out high quality comics, even if they do lend to some confusion and controversy. Low is Remender’s newest creation, and this sci-fi comic’s introductory issue is definitely promising.
The premise of Low is that the Earth has become uninhabitable due to the sun’s expansion and increasing levels of radiation. Humans have sent probes into space to find a new life-sustaining planet, and in the meantime they have built giant cities in the depths of the ocean. But resources, like clean filtered air, are limited and the search for a new plan is becoming desperate. By the time the comic starts, tens of thousands of years have passed and there are only two cities left, and they are constantly under threat from pirates that remain from older cities that have been destroyed.
Remender doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on introductions. The first characters we meet are Stel and Johl Caine, a husband and wife who are tasked with hunting for food for the city. Stel is one of the only people who still checks for new information from the probes, as everyone else has given up hope, including Johl. The Caine’s have three children, and come from a strong bloodline that enables them to operate mecha-like suits called helms for deep water hunting. In this issue, Johl is planning on teaching their young daughters how to pilot the helm so they can grow into hunters as well.
There’s a lot going on in this comic already, and there’s only been one issue. One of the most exciting things about this is that the comic is going to be centered around Stel and her unconditional optimism as she tries to protect her family and find a new home for them. She’s a really interesting character; she’s compassionate, intelligent, witty, and self-assured, which are all qualities I like to see in my female comic book characters. I am excited to see how she develops as the series progresses, especially since the family is already under attack.
This comic doesn’t look like a lot of other comics on the market. Greg Tocchini’s art is entirely unique, and his bold color choices (mostly green, orange, and red) really jump off the page. The whole issue is gorgeous, but the first few pages really stand out– they are intimate, and the holographic galaxy that Stel is looking at creates a really cool effect in the way it’s drawn over their bodies.
The only drawback to the first issue of Low is that a lot happens in a short amount of time. We are introduced to an entirely new world, and before we have time to fully comprehend it, there are even more new characters and an attack thrown in. There’s not much time to really get grounded in the story before everything is thrown into chaos, but hopefully the next issue will clear up some of the confusion and give the main characters a little more depth. It’s a really unique world that we’ve been introduced to, and Remender’s focus on optimism for the series will make it an interesting contrast to a lot of what’s being published. This one is definitely worth picking up.