Plunge #2 is published by DC Comics under the Black Label imprint Hill House Comics, written by Joe Hill, with art by Stuart Immonen, colors by Dave Stuart and letters by Deron Bennett. After discovering the remains of a castaway last issue, the salvage team begins their efforts to investigate the sunken ship whose distress signal brought them here. Meanwhile, the shore party takes a look around the island to see if anyone else is still on the island.
The horror genre is known for having some fairly predictable pathways for stories to go down. There are times where even well-delivered horror tales can come to feel reminiscent of watching the moon move through its phases. Predictable, even if there’s still a lot to appreciate.
This is the feeling I carried away from Plunge #2. While the various story beats and characters are well done, they feel wholly familiar. Almost as if I’ve read this story before. I don’t indulge in a ton of horror, and it still has that familiar vibe.
Despite that, I think Hill does a good job with his characters. None of them are totally obnoxious or hate worthy. Perhaps the biggest divergence from horror tropes, as it seems like there is usually that one character you want to see die. But, even though it feels like Hill is crafting a solid cast I don’t know if it’ll have enough time to really come together.
For me, the biggest appeal to horror is routing for my favorite characters to survive. Seeing their near brushes with death, or final destinations is the drive to such stories. It will be interesting to see if Hill can have these characters fleshed out enough for me to care when they meet whatever end awaits them.
There is one area that I do think Hill does an exceptional job with, and it’s pacing his time between the various groups of characters. As the story moves forward our crew of salvagers inevitably break up into smaller groups as they investigate both the island and the wrecked ship. Hill does an excellent job keeping the story moving between the parties. Never lingering too long on any given group, Hill keeps the reader up on all that transpires and doesn’t allow them to forget about anyone.
Plunge #2’s art continues to deliver all its biggest moments with skill. Immonen does a great job of picking his angles to capture an extremely authentic horror vibe. This is especially true where the characters are concerned. The emotion projected by them in key moments is spot on. Shock, anger, desperation, and fear are all on stark display within the panels.
Stuart’s colors are the final touch that really gives these pages life. A few particular moments break the color palette that dominates the bulk of the issue, causing them to leap off the page. Which is exactly what these moments need to accomplish.
With all that said, I feel Plunge #2 is a good second step in this story. It builds the narrative, as well as some of the characters. Even though it treads mostly well-worn paths it does it with enough skill to allow the reader to appreciate why they are so well-trodden.
Plunge #2 is available on March 18th wherever comics are sold.
Even though it treads mostly well worn paths it does it with enough skill to allow the reader to appreciate why they are so well trodden.