REVIEW: Low #5

Written by Rick Remender
Art by Greg Tocchini
Published by Image Comics
Release date: December 3, 2014

Picking up four months after issue 4, Low #5 continues to build on the very imaginative world and story which Rick Remender has been crafting since issue 1. Thanks to Tajo’s betrayal, Stel and Marik are now prisoners. Marik is being use in the gladiator arena both for the entertainment of Roln and the public, but also as punishment and leverage to try to get the coordinates of the probe. The plan backfires though as Marik and the other gladiators successfully defeat the first monster, a giant eel – yes, this epic battle of survival happens underwater and it is incredible to see it play out – and Roln brings out the big guns to make Marik suffer.

Of course, much of that has to do with Greg Tocchini’s art which is simply breathtaking. Tocchini’s panel layouts flow smoothly with hazy lines and dreamy colors that give the book a hypnotic quality. Every page is filled with so much detail this book is worth reading multiple times just to catch it all, and it’s nice to see how much the flow of the book has improved visually since the first issue.

What’s interesting about this series is that even though the lines between good and evil are pretty clearly marked for the reader, there is a great deal of depth to every character which may blur the lines for the people living in this world. Sure, it may appear that what Roln is doing to Stel and Marik is vicious and criminal but he is after the same thing they are – to live a life on their planet, to feel the warmth of the sun, the touch of the wind, and the sound of the bird. It is this interesting moment in the book that reminds us of the human condition and our efforts to overcome struggles and live a peaceful existence. These characters are human after all, and that’s what makes this story so enticing.

Remender and Tocchini continue to impress me with every issue of this series and the levels of depth they are adding to the characters and the world with each succeeding chapter. Considering the ending of this issue, I am very excited to see where issue 6 will take us.

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