Review: Deep Beyond #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Artists: Andrea Broccardo
Letters: Fabio Amelia
Colors: Barbara Nosenzo
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“Man- Bat is good for me. I feel confident. I feel free. I feel powerful….. “- Kirk Langstrom
Deep Beyond #1 – In an underpopulated future Earth, devastated by the dire consequences of the millennium bug, the survival of mankind—and, maybe, of the planet itself—is handled by a small number of people.
Talented scientists who, despite the adverse situation and the stupid feuds that continue to divide the small number of people still alive, try to understand and study what is hidden in the depths of the abyss. Something mysterious and dangerous, which could eventually cause an even worse and more destructive catastrophe!
I am sucker for first issues. And I am a sucker for Image Comics first issues thanks to Todd McFarlane and his position within Image Comics. It always felt that he gave artists and writers a little more room for expression as well as artistic chances. His image in one of the early early Spawn issues provides that in that you see a prison full of DC and Marvel heroes. We can only see their hands sticking out of the cells, but we know who they are.
That walk down memory lane provides the context in which we see this comic in that the art is truly grand. The coloring is what gets us in that Barbara Nosenzo paints an under the sea environment that is both beautiful and menacing.
Andrea Broccardo does some really gross stuff to the skin with the victims of this virus as the reader can ponder if they even want to survive given the leprosy type boils all over a person’s body.
Writers Mirka Andolfo and David Goy have to cram a lot of script into this issue to get the reader interested in the politics, the back story, the virus, the twins, the unassuming scientist, and on and on. You really get your money’s worth in story content, but it is like reading an issue of Bendis’ Legion of Super-Heroes. There is so much going on at the beginning, you have to reread it several times to get the names and situations connected.
First issues are an interesting animal. They have to take you somewhere you have not been. Image has done that with Undiscovered Country and Spawn, but have failed on other accounts (I will not list those here). When the description lists “The 100 meets LOW, with a hint of Death Stranding “…that immediately sets a reader up for either wanting it to be like those three aforementioned vehicles.
But if those works did not interest you, you will then have no interest in the comic. It’s a catch-22.
Admittedly so, I think the world is about “sick” of viruses (absolutely no pun intended there as I had COVID-19 and I survived. It was the worse thing I have ever been through in regards to being sick.) Therefore, the apocalyptic virus theme is a bit played out.
Elements of Scott Snyder’s Undiscovered Country are in this as well as other political thrillers. It’s hard to get something new out of a soup that tries to combine elements such as these – politics, virus, underwater, scientists, twins,….sea monsters. It’s a lot to sort out.
I may have to eat my words on this one, but it’s a lot to digest in this issue. One gets how a creative team has to set the tone and introduce all the characters and the story. It’s like some pieces are forced and organically did not come together. However, Settle in for the haul as the art is strong and elements of the story have the potential to be something special. It’s alright to stumble at the start as long as you run the race and finish strong! Let’s see what happens in the Deep Beyond!