Plunging Back In
This is a quick review because there’s not a lot to say about the book. It’s one of the first random books I bought off the rack last year once I resolved to review comics again. I don’t check any preview sites because I like as few spoilers as possible. Besides, a book like this already wears it’s premise on its sleeve. I took my time with writing about the book partly because real world events kept me distracted, but also the book bothered me a little. Willing to admit the problem is me, but hear me out.
Writer Rich Doek’s premise is straightforward. There’s a shipment of gold at the bottom of the ocean in a downed German submarine from World War One. A German (proto-Nazi at best, so he can live for now ) is looking to retrieve it with a ship captain and his crew, complete with an expert diver who’s also a shell-shocked war vet. The diver finds the gold and also sees this mermaid like creature. The horror picks up from there at a nice pace all the way to and through the second issue.
It’s fun, but I also can’t help the feeling that I’m just reading an overwrought movie treatment.
I’m enjoying the story, and the art by Alex Cormack is nice. It just seems a little by the numbers with Mike Mignola levels of shadowing and Ben Templesmith distortion where even non-monsters look a little sinister.
I wouldn’t call it rote, but it is following a proven pattern. Templesmith (30 Days of Night) and Mignola (Hellboy) were behind two properties that made it to the big screen. IDW is 30 Days of Night’s home and is putting out Sea of Sorrows, so it makes sense approaching this book with a movie as the end goal — you know, something that will actually make money — but why force the comics reader to be the middleman crowdfunding the film without even a digital copy at the end of the day?
This is why I avoid Marvel and DC titles. Most of their books appear to be inferior, hastily created products that are just going to be sourced for better written cartoons and movies. And why not? It works (if you had a feeling that Captain America: Civil War was going to be successful based solely off of the original Civil War miniseries, I want you to pick my next batch of scratch cards).
Sea of Sorrows is a much better quality product in addition to being a self-contained story, which is why I’ll stick with it. Still, if I see a trailer for a movie a year from now, I’m going to feel a little had.