The wonder of myths and legends is the truths that are held within them. In ancient times people wanted to understand everything and so made up plausible stories to explain phenomena. This included the idea of a Thunder God using a hammer to create weather patterns and one eyed giants the best explanation for an elephant skull. All had an idea behind them but each was wrong.
Perhaps one of the most fanciful tales was of a technologically advanced society that lived on an island that sank into the ocean. Some even went as far as to suggest that the city was really an underwater city and this is the basis for the Atlantis we find in Undertow. A civilisation of a breed of humanoid specifically adapted to living in the sea. From gills to webbed toes each of the Atlantean’s is at home under the water.
However the Atlantis that Steve Orlando describes seems far from an advanced utopia (this does depend on your political and philosophical outlook). With repression of citizens and a desire to maintain the status quo its natural some would rebel, and this rebellion has a figurehead and his name is Redum Anshargal.
As a first issue I found myself immediately captivated by the story being told, at the bottom of the preview page the panel there was the anchor for my attention. The mystery demanded attention and then my wonder was immediately satisfied as I watched an underwater battle drawn with such imagination that I could hardly look away. Artyom Trakhanov does an amazing job throughout the whole issue with an art style that is gruesome at times but also has a subtle tone when needed. I especially like the little stars that act as a reference to key points in the surroundings. These are then explained in the gutter closest to the panel. It’s all part of getting you on-board with the story and with the world.
The outcasts are on a hunt for something within Atlantean legend an Amphibious Humanoid. The goal is to one day breathe the same air that the humans do. The humans however are by no means as advanced as our sea living hosts for the story. The level of advancement though is truly miraculous and will stand as one of the most interesting aspects of the story. The land suits in particular are a sight and a great demonstration of reverse engineering.
These creators look to be building a series that will explore complex themes like a deep look at society and whether social engineering can work under the guise of an exploration story. However unlike 20’000 leagues under the sea this time it’s the land that’s the unconquered wilderness that the outcasted Atlanteans must explore.
To Catch up with spoiler filled art from the first Six pages of Undertow #1 check out our gallery. Warning there will be spoilers so be prepared to be spoiled.
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Images courtesy of Image Comics
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Comic - Provided by Publisher