Thursday, April 23, 2015

Low Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope (incomplete copy/review)

Netgalley, Netgalley.  I thought you'd learned the lesson when there was a collective freakout when your ARC of Jodi Meadows' The Orphan Queen only turned out to be the first chapter.  I think enough readers wrote angry reviews that it was quickly relabeled "sneak peek" or something to that effect, right in the title area.  Yay for transparency!

So when I requested Rick Remender's Low, I saw that it said Vol. 1 and that was it.  I have a sneaking suspicion that it has since been altered to say "Part 2" and "partial copy" once you click though to a longer synopsis.




When the story began and I suddenly dropped into a submerged world with a young man running out of oxygen and his mother trying to save him, I just assumed that the author wanted us BAM! in the middle of the action, and that we'd get flashbacks along the way to explain what was going on.  Ah ha ha ha ha.  I read the whole thing under this mistaken assumption and started to get really ticked off.  What was going on here?  Who are these people?  Are we on another planet?  Help help help!

Thankfully, the synopsis on Goodreads cleared up a lot of what must have been in part 1, so now I have a slightly better picture of what the author and artists were going for here.  I'll probably remove my star rating on Goodreads because it's not fair to only rate half the book; however, I'm not really tempted to go find a full copy and read that, because what I saw of Low didn't exactly push my comic buttons.

This is what I gathered from what I had to work with:  Hot Lady Stel has a map/beacon that will lead the dying inhabitants of her world to a "blue world," and she and her remaining son swim around, a bit lost, while he loses oxygen and she mutters, "It has to be here!"  Yay!  They find another layer of floating city!  But boo!  The Evil Pirate who killed Stel's husband and kidnapped her two daughters is now the Evil Pirate Overlord of this city, and because she has extreme self-control (ha ha), she runs up and stabs him with her trident nail-extensions.

Somehow, he doesn't die.  This happens a lot in this book, by the way.  People suffer grievous wounds and still manage to live.

There's a lot of fighting back-and-forth, with Stel being paraded about and looking younger than her own son.  The whole message of hope being the deadliest weapon is a wee bit heavy-handed (the Evil Pirate Overlord tends to descend into these MWAH-HA-HA harangues pretty often.

However, despite my confusion regarding the first part of the story, and therefore the actual point of the second part, what I really disliked was the art.  Obviously, everyone has different tastes when it comes to any kind of art.  Conceptually, I understand how Tocchini probably wanted to mimic the chaos of a dying world, but there were so many splashes of color with swirly lines and sketched in figures that I couldn't keep track of what was actually happening, particularly in the action sequences.

Finally, let's talk about the ladies.  Okay, the world is hot.  I get it.  But the women simply wear wee little triangular scraps over their breasts and ladyparts areas and that's IT.  Somehow all the guys wear armor, though.  It was excessively irritating and made me cranky.  I mean, Tocchini should have just drawn them all naked.

I probably won't continue with this one.

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