Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini
Series: Low #1
Genre: Graphic Novel | Science Fiction
Length: 144 pages
Published on 28th March 2015 by Image Comics
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Waterstones | WHSmith
Rick Remender: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Purchased for myself from Waterstones
Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth’s surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun’s scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope. Dive into an aquatic fantasy like none you’ve ever seen before, as writer Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Uncanny Avengers) and artist Greg Tocchini (Last Days of American Crime) bring you a tale mankind’s final hour in the cold, deathly dark of the sea.
I purchased a copy of Low for myself as I was feeling mighty happy with myself for having a volunteer job and making good progress towards getting an actual job. (At the time of writing I now work in a book store). It was the cover that made me pick it up, it looked so interesting even with a limit colour palette. Something I know isn’t easy to do.
I had to know more, who was this woman surrounded by sea and sea life? Why is she there and looking so marvelous too?
I had a quick flick through, found the art work still looked nice inside and bought a copy.
I started reading it shortly after finishing Wytches which I found amazing so when Low didn’t initially hook me in I wasn’t really that surprised. Low is very different to Wytches, still dark and gritty but a much different pacing, atmosphere, and art style.
I returned to Low a few days later and still I was having issues with it, directly related to it. These being its treatment of female characters, the amount of female nudity vs male nudity, and the huge amount of shock value to further the story.
& these are very real issues that do exist in the book but I just kinda thought to myself, look this woman has to go through absolute shit and is still trying to save the world, you can deal with this shit and root for her to succeed.
So I picked it up again with a fresh perspective.
The story follows Stel, a mother and wife, and she truly believes that Earth can still be saved. Even though currently everyone has to live underwater, have lost contact with other colonies, and are running out of supplies. She truly believes they’ll find a new planet to inhabit and learn from their mistakes on and nothing will stop her optimism.
Not watching her husband be murdered in front of her after having his eye pulled out, not having her daughters dragged away, and not loosing her son to alcohol, drugs, and prostitutes after all this. (I say loosing but he is alive just y’know not interested in being a son any more).
See, I told you, shock value things.
After her son gets in too much trouble than he can handle she offers an alternate punishment for him to try and spare his life; the two of them will go off and search for news from other colonies and the information beacon full of hope for their move to a new place.
& this is where I started to enjoy this book. Yes it has its faults, and yes they are probably enough to stop people from wanting to pick it up/continue it but its the world and potential the story holds that kept me reading.
Its still set on Earth, but its underwater and after a lot of mutations. I loved seeing how different things were, how colour was used to make animals stand out and look spacey almost, how humans weren’t the only species surviving and talking.
I also liked how the two colonies were portrayed because at first they contrast each other so much – one is civilised and the other is rough and fighting for a life. But how, on closer inspection, they actually aren’t so different for one and another – the place Stel is from is just as unruly in its higher ranks as the new place, though in a tidier-and-hidden-away-from-their-people-kind-of-way.
In the new colony place there are a few action scenes that brought the pacing of the story up a bit which I really appreciated and got me a little more invested as to how things would turn out. I was more invested in Stel at this point so I was definitely on the edge of my seat hoping for a good outcome – the way she always does with life.
So all in all I did enjoy this graphic novel, it was better than I initially expected and I’ll continue to read the series.