Review - Low #1

"We huddle together. My small family seeking comfort from a world determined to separate us."

Family coping amidst harsh living situations always makes for fascinating reading. How those families cope in situations where they can play a pivotal role in the survival of the human species if even more fascinating. That's what the reader finds in Low #1 from Image Comics, written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini and lettered by Rus Wooton.

It's the distant future, when humanity has relocated to radiation-shielded cities below the sea and the surface of the planet has become a scorched uninhabitable wasteland. A probe has returned with information on a possible alternative planet for humans, but it has landed on the Earth’s surface. A few brave representatives from the warring human clans venture out to retrieve it and the hopeful news it bears.

The world of Low #1 is extremely fascinating, courtesy of Remender's talents as a writer. The concept of humanity living in the depths of the world's oceans isn't too far-fetched, but how he frames it around one family's daily routine is very inspiring. That family serves as a microcosm of civilization's struggles in Low #1. They want to make their way and survive and have a rather lovely family dynamic they all share in. They also play a pretty pivotal role in the events of the first issue and likely the series, mainly because of the Helm Suit, a relic they keep in their family. The story plays out around the family, using that family heirloom as a jumping point for the entirety of the series.

Tocchini's art is breathtaking. It offers a very unique look at a society under the water, with characters who aren't overly exaggerated in terms of art style and accents. The way he illustrates characters and backgrounds make both components feel like part of a larger whole and neither stands out from the other. He relies on a rather heady blend of seemingly simple geometric shapes to convey the action in a way that feels sufficiently dramatic enough considering the stakes. The color palette draws heavily on reds and greens in a way that sort of snaps the reader out of the realization that the book takes place underwater.

Low #1 is a very strong first issue that beautifully lays out the story in a way that's extremely exciting. The stakes are laid out as very high, with the fate of the characters involved and the civilization as a whole hanging in the balance. Remender's characters are very impassioned about their lives and interactions with one another, even if those interactions come with some less than friendly individuals. Tocchini's illustrations are beautiful in a somewhat dystopian way that is very befitting of the premise and story behind Low #1. It's a book that is definitely worth reading and starts off a rather exciting storyline that promises to only get better.

Low #1 is in stores July 30 with interiors below.