Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

Undertow #1Undertow #1
Image Comics
Orlando, Trakhanov & Mauer

The opening issue of Undertow is a very small step in building a much larger world and story. The comic's basic setup is introduced and a couple of characters get a lot of panel time to help the reader get an idea of what the book is about. For the most part this book is a political one and that complexity is only rolled out a small bit. This is a good first issue but there isn't anything in here that will grab ahold of the reader and shake them. It's clearly just the beginning of something bigger. I recommend this.

The premise in the book is that humans haven't evolved. They are land dwelling, unintelligent primates. The brains of the planet live in the ocean. They look and seem like humans but they are not. One of them decides he's had enough with the political landscape in his underwater city, that is referred to as being fascist, and breaks away to fight for freedom. He takes with him a younger, less informed companion to make this opening issue the beginning to his journey.

The comic book uses the new revolutionary as a means to explain the political issues that plague their society. In the process we also get informed of how their world works and we get some information when they move from place to place. There isn't a ton of story here, it's more visual with some dialogue to explain things to the reader.

Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
The artwork is gorgeous. The line work has a sketch-like quality to it that you might find in a Vertigo book, specifically American Vampire. The comic presents a dark look that definitely fits the material well. The pages all seem to come up with a theme in terms of background colors which really makes the comic flow in an eye-grabbing manner. The art is truly a highlight of the book.

Undertow is a politically charged science-fiction book. It uses a lot of real-life components but puts them in a new setting. The comic features two characters, one of which is a very grisly and interesting one. The book has a lot of potential but it is clear this issue is meant to simply begin the long story rather than shock and awe the reader. This is the ground floor to something that will probably have a bigger payoff down the road.

3 out of 5 Geek Goggles