Aftershock Comics 2018
Created & Written by Zack Kaplan
Illustrated by Alvaro Sarraseca
Coloured by Chris Blythe
Lettered by Troy Peteri of A Larger World’s
Lost cities aren’t just the stuff of myths. They exist hidden right under our noses. But when a mysterious expedition is disrupted by supernatural activity, and an antiquities professor goes missing, his teenage daughter and her friends must become underground urban explorers, follow his tracks on a coming-of-age journey through subterranean tunnels, and ultimately find the holy grail of lost city: Atlantis buried right under New York City!
Well this isn’t quite what I had imagined in my mind. I mean I pictured kids doing and exploration underneath the city, where the homeless find themselves living together in a type of community we don’t normally see, who then go deeper and discover something amazing and terrifying in that journey. Well now that that’s said what I found was something a little different and pretty gosh darn interesting. I like the premise that there are people out there looking for lost cities and have scientific credence and skills to find them, at least theoretically.
While there are urban cities beneath cities all over the world, Constantinople lies beneath Istanbul and there’s the distinct possibility that another lies beneath it. We discover these all the time but really this book is about the mythological ones. The ones whose existence we cannot prove but are littered throughout ancient cultures in the most similar and eerie of ways. Look I like what Zack does because here I am extrapolating knowledge that I have gathered over the years that lied dormant until this comes along. The story awakens the mind, memory and the wonder of it all beautifully.
I like the way that Zack structures the book. The opening is different, interesting and sets up what’s to come extremely well. It is nicely done so that someone picking it up will want to go further into the issue. Alvaro and Chris have a hand in that too and I gotta say that it’s really rather interesting to see this cavern, wonder how they got their stuff there and the beginning of something that has yet to be fully realised. It carries onward through the story in a way that flows naturally through the progression it needs to to reach it’s conclusion. At least the conclusion of the issue.
I do like the interior artwork here and as the opening grabbed my attention nicely they managed to keep it throughout the issue. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a very skilled eye for storytelling. I like the mixture of the past and the present that they bring to this, the mixing of cave paintings and massive computer systems all at the same time. Also the two-page spreaad and how we see the linework and colours can be used to create subtle moments that make it all pop like you wouldn't believe! Also I like that the pages are filled whether it’s detailed backgrounds or just simple ones we get to see the city and the world here in ways that make it feel more real.
So the way the events unfold and how we meet our explorers into the unknown are assembled is interesting in itself. Hel, Helen, her brother Homer and their girlfriends make for an interesting quartet. Fundamentally different personalities are going to be together with one of Dad’s friends as they go searching, searching for their father and the Lost City. They are going to be at odds with an organisation in Sagan Labs who will do whatever it needs to to protect their interests. There is one huge obvious thing about them that I can think of right off the bat and it’ll be interesting if that was Zack was thinking as well.
While it may not be what I was expecting there are no guarantees in life that you get what you expect. What we do get is a very interesting idea that is blossoming nicely before our eyes. Zack continues to surprise me with the variety of stories he’s telling and how each of them feel like they could be a series on the Discovery channel.