Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Rick Remender
Artists: Greg Tocchini
Release Date: 24th September 2014
Us sci-fi fans have been utterly spoiled in the last few months in Comicdom, the finest kingdom in the world. We’ve had Remender and Hickman both lay waste to our carefully judged and measured scoring system; the ideas behind Prometheus finally gaining a great story from Paul Tobin; Aliens recovering from the Colonial Marines incident with Fire and Stone; and now… more Low.
Other writers might be happy with having just one great, Image-published sci-fi title being put out every month – most would sit on their laurels at that, maybe get complacent, rusty. Not Remender – he remains one of the sharpest writers working at the moment.
What’s most fascinating about Low is the setting – not your usual space-faring jaunt, instead it’s a reversal of the standard sci-fi tropes, speculating what happens if humanity recedes inwards instead of spreading outwards. And now you get the title? Right? Right?!
Speaking of that title, this is the issue where it really comes into play thematically speaking – and whilst there are a couple of Peter Griffin ‘he said it!’ moments, it’s actually rather deftly handled, with Remender’s now trademark charming vulgarities hiding an inner core that’s about redemption, about finding your true self, and above all, about the importance of hoping, against hope.
Tocchini’s art is gorgeous – in parts lewd and provocative, to match the script, painting a sleazebag of a senator so sleazily you can practically feel the oil running off the pages in your hands; in others dingy and muted to match how low one of our protagonists has stooped; and in its final moments, gorgeous, glorious and capturing the hope that the script is espousing beautifully.
Given that both myself and m’colleague Sam have twice broken the scoring system with sci-fi – Sam with issue #2 of this very series – I’ll stop giving Ceej headaches and just leave it at our usual perfect score. But if I had less regard for human life, this’d be higher. It’s incredible – get the hell on this series!
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24