Titan Comics 2016
Written by Si Spurrier
Illustrated by Conor Boyle
Coloured by Giulia Brusco
Lettered by Rob Steen
Created by Pat Mills & Ramon Sola
Take Jaws sprinkle in some Captain Phillips throw in a dash of Deep Blue Sea and serve with a side of made for SyFy and you come close to how I felt reading this first issue. Sharks are nature’s most perfect predator unchanged for millions of years and while we love our Shark Week stories and trying to understand these magnificent creatures there’s a reason they scare the hell out of us as well. I’ve been waiting for something to come along that’s smart, sophisticated and preys upon the inherent terror of the deep and it looks like it’s finally here.
I like the opening it’s from a unique point of view and it sets the stage beautifully. Only in a written medium do we get this kind of view and it does wonders with how things are seen.
When we get into the main story Si doesn’t waste any time and I like that there’s little setup before the action gets under way. We start with an introduction to the characters, why they are there and what they are doing. It’s that scientific aspect that I like and while it’s a small crew and the are operating off the coast of Somalia, a place notorious for sea pirates, they are there to study the sharks that have come into the reason. Why well you learn that here and it’s laid out plain as day.
As I was reading this there were plenty of moments I was kind of taken by surprise. I hadn’t really expected some aspects of what we get. That however is one of the things Si can do extremely well and use that “surprise” in what he brings to really get the story underway in ways that in hindsight, which is always 20/20, were the best and most obvious way to go.
I will also readily admit that our Professor Leyland is a hoot and that she relishes her foul mouthed ways was at first shocking then became endearing. That’s just an example of the kind of characterisation on display here. From Leyland’s nonchalant attitude and her passion for what she does as well as getting the look at her small crew the players in this thriller come to life extremely well.
The interiors here are some great stuff! The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds really bring this life beautifully. The way the sharks are portrayed are awesome as these majestic and fearsome creatures and the balance out the realistic way the people are brought to us. Conor and Giulia really do some incredible work in drawing you into this story more fully with what we see and imagining the horror from so many different angles.
With equal parts human drama and the need to understand Shark behaviour this series will once again remind you how dangerous life on the ocean’s waters can truly be!