Story: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini
Letters: Rus Wooten
Cover Price: $3.50
Release date: Sept.24, 2014
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Low; and judging by the sellout of issue #2, it looks like lot of you are, too. I hope that means that we all have great taste in comics, but even if it doesn’t, I’m glad we agree on this book. Low is the story of the dying days of the earth, where humanity has been forced beneath the oceans by an expanding sun.
Issue #3 picks up shortly after the events of issue #2; Marik is in prison for the prostitute’s murder and Stela seeks the audience of the fatally hedonistic Senator Greeme in a last attempt to retrieve the recently landed probe.
Stel successfully negotiates with Greeme for a salvage team to go to the surface, a feat not accomplished in thousands of years, and collect the probe. Her request is not granted without an important stipulation; only she and Marik will be allowed to undertake the suicide mission.
Remender has said that he is exploring a new found appreciation for optimism, most of which is expressed through the character of Stel. This is the first issue thus far that we really get to see Stel and her interactions with the world at present. To be honest, it seems starkly apparent that optimism, again as Remender has remarked in interviews, is “something foreign” to him. Other characters in the story react to Stel’s relative fanaticism with a mix of disbelief and disdain.
Marik Caine for instance, Stel’s wayward son, shares none of his mother’s faithful delusions. Given the force of Stel’s beliefs, a bit of cynicism is necessary for balance. It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that Marik has been employed, like Stel, as an aspect of Remender’s own worldview. The skeptical unbeliever who can’t understand how anyone can show hope in the face of apparently imminent destruction. To Marik such misconception is a waste of time and valuable energy that could be focused in more immediately rewarding ,but ultimately equally pointless, ways.
The draw of this issue isn’t really the story per se, though it continues to expand in scope, but Tocchini’s increasingly grand art. For the first time we get a chance to glimpse the aquatic world beyond Salus’ dome and it is remarkable. The ocean life, some radically evolved, as well as the underwater environment, serve as immersive atmosphere pieces. You can almost taste the salt as Stel and Marik ride a pair of giant seahorse-like creatures through the sea.
Another point of note, up until now, it’s been hinted that Salus is the last human city, but there are not-so-subtle clues that this is not in fact the case.
By Adam Cadmon