Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written & Illustrated by Matt Kindt
Coloured by Sharlene Kindt
Lettered by Marie Enger
Last issue we met Mia who was sent to her father’s underwater station to discover the truth about his death. Believing he was murdered she now has to work with a crew she knows all too well to find the truth but it isn’t going to be easy. As the past comes back to haunt her and the actions of the crew we’ll learn alongside Mia what really happened at the bottom of the ocean.
I love that this issue opens up in the polar opposite place where it ends. It’s a great look at the relationship between Mia and her brother Raj though. Also I love seeing the parallels between space and the ocean as it almost feels like the same technology is essentially used in both places. Matt really does manage to pack in a lot stuff into a space amount of space with that trip and the way the crew interacts with each other, mainly brother and sister.
I am enjoying the dynamic between brother and sister here. While they are off having another of their arguments it seems that the underwater station is having a bit of a crisis as the lights flicker and it turns out an array is offline. Eerily similar to what we saw in the opening. The main comm antenna’s connection has been cut and the siblings are going to go out and investigate what’s happening.
That Matt can take something and show us two very different and distinct ways it can be seen is amazingly well done. When the pair gets to the antenna Raj sees it as sea life, a whale for instance, has bumped it while Mia immediately sees sabotage. A case can be made either way here and that they can immediate both see what it is they expect and have a hard time accepting the others viewpoint says a lot about their relationship. I’m looking forward to seeing and learning more about Mia and how she can automatically jump to a worst case scenario and even more so be convinced of it when the station's crew was with them it happened.
As we get towards the end of the issue things take on a whole new perspective as Raj takes his sister into the dark deep. This is where we see some of the most beautiful artwork. With Matt’s base drawing and Sharlene’s painted, looks like watercolours which coincidentally add so much to this, work make the jellyfish and the darkness that much more foreboding.
I’m a huge fan of the interior artwork here. The ebb and flow of the story through pages and panels highlighted and augmented by the colouring gives it this soft, pretty and sometimes ominous feel. Even the design of these deep sea suits have this incredibly alien look and feel to them that really makes the creatures of the deep we don’t know well seem like they all belong together. Then there’s the use of the black that sometimes still feels wet or heavy on the page and it’s just so impactful to me as a reader.
I like that Matt’s focusing on the ocean’s depths because that’s where we’ll find more forms of alien lifeforms than we will exploring space. There are creatures that have lived millions of years in the dark far from man’s reach that we’ve yet to encounter and some that we know too little about that frighten us all no matter what age we are. Colossal Squids for example we know what they are but that’s it we’ve not encountered them, though legends call them Kraken’s so it’s nice to see this being explored here in this way.