REVIEW: ‘Plunge,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Plunge #1

Plunge #1 is published by DC Comics under the Black Label horror imprint Hill House Comics, written by Joe Hill, with art by Stuart Immonen, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Deron Bennett. In the wake of a massive tsunami, the wreck of the Derleth begins broadcasting a distress signal. This wouldn’t be eye-raising if the ship hadn’t been lost nearly 40 years ago. To further complicate the matter the Derleth has washed up on an island that is officially in dispute. Not wanting to wait for the slow turning wheels of governments, the owners of the vessel seek to find a small salvage operation that’s willing to sneak in and survey the wreck.

Plunge #1 is quite possibly my first ever horror comic. I mention this mostly so that if you clicked the link expecting a finely worded delve into the intricacies of modern horror by our editor-in-chief Kate Sanchez, the queen of scream, you won’t be surprised once you read on a bit further. This review is going to be through the eyes of a newbie in the genre. Now, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Plunge #1

If I were to some up Plunge #1 in a word, I’d have to choose intriguing. The creative team does a great job of establishing the situation in a way that both emphasizes the oddity of it, while still trying to make sense of it. The fact that a ship’s distress beacon could pop on after decades of being dormant seems out of the question. But a situation is quickly hypothesized that explains the occurrence. Interestingly, this explanation did more to make the situation feel unreal than grounded. Like the characters were grasping to explain what was happening, despite the fairly reasonable scenario they proposed to explain the occurrence.

While the setup that Hill presents had my curiosity peaked, what I enjoyed most was the cast. As the various characters are introduced to the situation, Hill does a great job of weaving their personalities into the story, even as he continues to establish what the story actually is. And it’s a good thing those personalities are there. Otherwise, intriguing as the setup is, this book would just be a lot of setups. Everyone from the grizzled Captain to the out of his depth company representative feels like a fully fleshed-out character. I enjoy who these characters are, as well as trying to guess who’s going to end up going crazy and who’s going to do the dumb thing that gets themselves killed.

Plunge #1

The art in Plunge #1 does a good job reinforcing the story. At times, heavy shadows are used to push the ominous nature of the story. These moments are not allowed to drown out characters though. Plenty of panels really shine with the expressions of its subjects. This gives the characters an extra vibrant feel to them. It seems like overlooking this aspect of the visuals would be easy to do in an attempt to establish the dark foreboding feel a horror book needs. However, by taking the time to really push the characters’ presence in the panels, Immonen is setting up the moments down the road to hit that much harder.

I enjoyed my time reading Plunge #1. And with all the introductions of both cast and situation out of the way, I feel ready for Hill and company to really pick things up with the next issue. The last page serves up a cliffhanger that I’m intrigued to find out more about. I’m definitely ready to take the plunge again when issue two drops.

Plunge #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Plunge #1
4

TL;DR

I enjoyed my time reading Plunge #1. And with all the introductions of both cast and situation out of the way, I feel ready for Hill and company to really pick things up with the next issue. The last page serves up a cliffhanger that I’m intrigued to find out more about. I’m definitely ready to take the plunge again when issue two drops.