Dark Horse Comics 2014
Written, Illustrated & Cover by Matt Kindt
Coloured by Sharlene Kindt
Lettered by Marie Enger
Last issue Mia and her brother Raj had put on those underwater suits and went to check on the equipment only to find it damaged. Thinking it was sabotage, Mia does jump to worst case scenario, they quickly discover a Giant Squid is there as well and Mia’s suit is damaged and it grabs Raj.
It’s amazing how each issue seems to open up more and more avenues that we as readers want explored. From the isolation and fear that comes with being at the bottom of the ocean, the cold depths of the unknown seeing the same faces day in and day out and the sense of family we get from this is uncanny. Then there’s the visual representation here, these suits they use in the ocean are more like alien creatures than traditional diving suits and that adds a different dimension that can mess with the mind.
Even though something happened that ended up separating Mia from this family and their now more or less distrust of her they still risk their lives to help her. As the story keeps moving forward however it becomes less about saving Raj and her own isolation at the hands of the others to an almost classic horror story feel as Jerome has gone off his rocker. Through some odd connection he feels for the sea life and that his skin seems to undergoing some metamorphosis the base is jeopardized and if not fixed they could all die.
Mix all this in with what we see of the past and well it’s no wonder Mia’s now more an outcast than ever before. It’s easy to see that things went wonky when she arrived and that their trust in her is gone so being alone with her own thoughts and beliefs not mention over oxidation and lack of sleep are causing some serious mental issues.
Just the way Matt’s been telling this story and slowly revealing layers and incidents he’s gotten us into this headspace where there’s literally no turning back. We have that NEED to know what’s going to happen and who is going to be the next to go missing or die. There’s a sense of loneliness and isolation that compounds everything that’s going on. You can almost literally feel the weight of ocean on top of them ready to crush them or least their spirits. It’s powerful writing.
The interiors and Sharlene’s colouring give it that underwater quality that you wouldn’t be able to get any other way. The bleeding of colours that only come from this style give off that wet feeling in creepy ways you can’t seem to shake.
This goes so far beyond a Nancy Drew: Murder in the Ocean Depths’ to something you couldn’t fathom having to endure. Compelling, creepy, endearing and full of moments where the mind plays tricks on your reality this will take you to the edge of fear and back again.