Review: Plunge #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Deron Bennett
Reviewer: Tony Farina
After discovering a corpse upon the Sinnikik Atoll, Moriah Lamb leads a team to hunt for other castaways, while Gage Carpenter begins the exploration of the ghost ship Derleth. But there’s something down there in the icy darkness of the Arctic sea, something that doesn’t want to be found. And it isn’t any safer on land. There are things waiting for the search party in the mountain caves, things that were once human…and aren’t quite anymore.
Plunge #2, like the rest of Hill House Comics, feels cinematic. Is it because of the high quality art work? Why, yes it is. Every panel is so detailed that need to shut the words out of your mind. Seriously, just take a beat and ignore the words. They are important. I will write about them in a bit, but the art by Stuart Immonen is epic. Scary as hell. Just brilliant. The looks on the faces, the way that space is used. The backgrounds feel real. It is spectacular.
Then there is the words. Joe Hill is such a great story teller. This story is gripping. The side characters are clearly supporting, but they have quirks. Clark, the hipster, is a perfect example. There is a running joke in this about the coffee he makes and then the pay off is so funny. Plunge #2 is tense and dense, but he knows exactly how to keep it light enough so you won’t feel like you are sinking along with the rest of the crew.
The only issue I have with this, and it is a small issue, is the way the names are used. I know that this is early days and we have to learn the characters’ names, but I don’t know that brothers say names like that in real life. Maybe they do in Maine. I don’t know. It‘s a minor nitpick. Exposition is hard to balance. For the most part, this is balanced perfectly.
Joe Hill is doing something wonderful with Hill House. He is reinventing things we thought we knew. He set us up in issue 1 for a different kind of horror than what he delivers in Plunge #2. He dropped glowing eyed, worm infested, math zombies. That’s right. You need to have a cursory knowledge of math to read this book. That doesn’t even bug me it is just that good. Bravo Mr. Hill, Bravo!