Title: Low #3
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Publisher: Image Comics
Rating: 4 / 5
Low continues on its trajectory of being one of the best sci-fi comics on the shelves today.
The last we saw of Stel and Marik, they were both at pretty low points in their lives. That is especially worth recognizing, considering Remender is writing Stel to be a character of paramount optimism and Marik one of entrenched debauchery, pessimism and downright nihilism. Things are pretty Low in Low, but this issue aimed to bring them up. Literally.
After an opening that saw Stel interact with the pathetic and useless upper class delegates, she manages to lawfully break her son out of prison to bring him along on her mission of finding the surface probe: the fleeting hope for the submerged remainders of humanity.
Marik is, of course, skeptical and begrudging of his mother’s affections and resents that he must accompany her. In everyone’s eyes but hers it’s more than just a fleeting notion that the probe exists, it’s tantamount to suicide. The rest of humanity is keen to just ride a wave of opiates until their oxygen gives out and they collapse. Not so for Stel. Perhaps it’s this hyper-optimism that keeps the reader so involved and able to think Stel will succeed, all the while knowing that (at least for the next… 50 issues?) she won’t.
Tocchini’s artwork hasn’t let up on one single panel since the debut issue. His creature designs and general portrayal of the messy and unknown depths are entrancing. The purposefully murky lines are perfectly balanced alongside Remender’s tale of one family’s (and humanity’s) woe.
In terms of plot, this issue waded through the story quite slowly, but it offered us an extended look at the current relationship between a powerful matriarch and her wallowing son. And if previews from the next issue are to be believed, things do not get any easier for Stel’s crusade.
Review by Brent Gladney