Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Artyom Trakhanov
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: February 19, 2014
Undertow is almost a literal fish out of water experience for one well-to-do Atlantean, from before the failure of that mythical society, who wanted to experience the real world. The European flared colored menagerie of characters swim both above and below the waters to bring us a society of people who exist somewhere between free-enterprise and monarchy feudalism… all the while making sure the whole earth, dry and wet, belongs to them.
The central story focuses on a character who, despite his closeted upbringing has discovered, through his own adventures a unique ability to survive without being surrounded by water. Unfortunately for him, no one else in the military has.
Trakhanov uses color to convey tones and meaning within the muddy lines of his story that weaves a fascinating and detailed tale that you have never full experienced before. Fighting, tenderness between characters and the unknown go through a flux of colors that make you feel what is happening more than seeing it. This style will not be for all. However, those who have enjoyed more European books will appreciate the approach that is happening.
This is a book to be experienced, not necessarily read. On the digital platform the lettering with this book can be hard to read, on the pages that are place straight on the ever modulating and illustrated background. The few pages where they choose to use a white background are much easier to read and you do not have to fight against the art to read the story, which is not always clear with what is being conveyed. If you have a three issue mantra for a new series, that might work best with this series, which lends itself more to a lyrical style (with the occasional everyday vulgar vernacular which sells the military backdrop. )
Orlando has worked hard to sell you on this society. This a book that hinges so much on how you take in the gorgeous art that takes your time and careful eye to appreciate all of the details. It is a beautiful book that you should see just where it is headed.
The Verdict: 7.0/10