Review: Undertow #2

undertow2-coverAThe second issue of Undertow gives us a mix of everything, action, reflection, character development, and intrigue. Lets start with the action. On a mission to find the mysterious amphibian, Ukinnu Alal and his team battle a sea locust. What’s that you ask? How about thirty feet of armored spines, claws that strike at the speed of sound. The team doesn’t stand up very well to that challenge. Back over on the Deliverer there’s talk of mutiny as some individuals are fed up with the wandering life. On top of all of that, we get some flashbacks to learn more about our characters.

Writer Steve Orlando has given us a packed second issue and adds to the exciting first issue.

There’s a lot thrown into this issue, with a densely packed story that moves the overall arc along, introducing new elements, and fleshing out characters we were introduced to in the beginning of the series. All of this is impressively done, not in crazy battles, like with the sea locust, but instead quieter moments between characters. The discussions that occur here are what’s interesting, helping cement where everyone is in their lives, and as well as their though process, and leaving just enough so it’s not predictable. We get a better sense of who everyone is.

What’s fascinating though is when I think of the water, I think of floating upon the waves, and these characters as frontiersmen in a liquid world. And what is frontiersmen without inner conflict with those who want to settle down? While that debate rages on the ship, the away team on their mission also act as frontiersmen on land. It really is the greatest exploration possible for these people.

Orlando is backed up by the art of Artyom Trakhanov who beautifully provides an alien, yet familiar world. The choice of color is noticeable matching Orlando’s script. There’s also various moment when Trakhanov breaks up larger panels with smaller inserts, allowing us the reader to rely on a look as much as what’s said or action. It’s a great technique that again adds to the overall narrative.

Two issues in and I can’t wait to see where this all goes. Undertow is a fascinating series that’s almost a political western. I can’t wait to see where it all goes, not just in the next issue, but also the rest of the series.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Artyom Trakhanov
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics has provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review