Undertow #1 – Spoiler Free Review:
I thought that Undertow #1 had a really interesting cover when I decided to review it, but other than that, this was one of those random books that I thought I would try out. I read a lot of comics, but this is a first. A truly different idea, and they had to go back to the dawn of mankind to find it. Undertow #1 is the first issue in a six issue miniseries, but is sounds like Steve Orlando has plans to carry this story quite a bit further according to an interview with our friends over at Newsarama.
What makes this unique? This is a story about Atlantis… well, Atlantis in the last days of the great continent under the sea. People have become complacent, they are detached from the world around them, and many of them are tired of being asleep, unresponsive, and stagnant. Ukinnu Alal was a privileged high born Altantean whose every decision was carefully planned out for him by his parents and social leaders. He enlisted in the military to experience something different and got more than he bargained for.
Facing certain death in a battle against forces that had them outgunned, Ukinnu thought he was dead for sure. He had heard the whispers and tales about Redum Anshargal, an evil destroyer known as the Butcher from Above. Instead of death, Redum offers Ukinnu freedom, the freedom from the constraints of his pampered existence.
Ukinnu finds a new life aboard a flying ship that houses a crew of former Atlanteans who have forsaken the life they loathed to explore dry land for some future that is better. The main focus of this expedition is to find the amphibian, a creature that can breathe in both water and air. This drives daily expeditions, exploring and cataloging. The ship has a watertight environment for the Atlanteans but also some open air areas for growing different types of plants. Redum wants to provide a future for the nation that he knows will soon fall.
I love the artwork in this series. The rough lines and splashes of color are perfect for the underwater scenes. The stark contrast of bright light and warmer colors show the risks that the Atlanteans run every time they leave their ship and the safety of the water that gives them life. Artyom Trakhanov has a flair for solid color frames that really helps to tell the story.
There is a lot in Undertow #1. There is the angst of a young man whose life has been mapped out, only wanting to escape and have the freedom to choose his own future. The character of Redum Anshargal, a captain who places the lives of his people before all else, searching tirelessly for a way to save a nation that has demonized him. The other characters have had minor impact so far, but there are many key roles yet to be explained. I look forward to seeing more of Steve Orlando’s exploration of a time before mankind was the ruler of the land and the sea and the Atlantean civilization had not yet fallen. Overall a great comic book with an intriguing story and a very unique concept. I recommend this book.
My rating: 5/5