Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review - Deep Blue #1


"Have to keep moving. Always keep moving."

How you would fare in a post-apocalyptic world is always a good conversation starter. Depending on the calamity, you may think you have a good shot. If you're the last human around though, the scenario doesn't really matter; survival does. In Deep Blue #1, survival against a robotic uprising is crucial to keep the human race in existence. The first issue is created by Bragi Schut and Lewis Fenton, written by Schut and illustrated by John "Roc" Upchurch.

The last man on earth, Dobbs, endures another day in Mech City. But why are the machines keeping him alive? What do they want from him? What can he possibly tell them? But there's a twist in store today. Dobbs will learn something that may change everything. And he needs to learn something, considering the world he lives in is currently under the thumb of the same mechs it previously employed to make life easier.

Schut presents a rather familiar society, but he offers it with a slightly different approach. Terminator is probably the most famous property where the machines rise against the humans, but those robots are hellbent on killing everything living. In Deep Blue #1, the robots are methodically eliminating the humans after they've gleaned as much information as possible from them. Dobbs constantly tries to escape and get back to a life where things were going his way and the robots are fearful enough primarily because they're just looking to keep him around as a guinea pig. The story itself starts off a little slow and seems formulaic, giving way to something more original as the reader is shown the events leading up to the present.

Upchurch's art works for the book. Some of the character anatomy appears a little dysmorphic. The robots are sufficiently terrifying in their own right though, relying on massive, hulking frames to chase down Dobbs and torture him. The world is a dystopian landscape rife with a haze conveyed by the browns and yellows used for the work. Panels are laid out stacked on top of one another on some pages and in a grid on others. Upchurch effectively captures Dobbs' anger and rage in his facial expressions, using them to carry the majority of the emotion throughout the book itself. The art feels gritty and dirty, fitting the atmosphere of Deep Blue #1.

Deep Blue #1 is an interesting book. It starts off as a rather ho-hum, post-apocalyptic tale about robots uprising, yet eschews that to become something a bit more intelligent and something that Issac Asimov would likely be proud of. It only makes sense that robots created by humans would want to know more about their creators, delving into topics such as the human soul. Deep Blue #1 could be something worth reading if Schut and Fenton continue to explore robots exploring humanity. The first issue really sets the table for what will likely be a rather fantastical science-fiction tale that aims to give readers a glimpse at what human resolve really looks like.

Deep Blue #1 is in stores today via Comxiology.

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