Writing - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Overall - 9/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: DC Black Label
Release: February 19, 2020
After a Tsunami wrecked havoc an odd distressed signal picked up. A ship lost for 40 years, all crew members presumed dead sends out a distress signal. A team is put together to salvage the ship. What they find in the Arctic Circle defies explanation.
“Lost at Sea” Plunge #1
DC Black Label/ Joe Hill House Comics introduces us to unfathomable horrors at sea in Plunge #1. With the talents of Joe Hill, Stewart Immonen and Dave Stewart fear come aboard. Tsunami’s wreck the world; a ship’s faint distress signal is caught. Which is not at all odd considering the conditions. The ship is the eerie thing. The Derleth has been gone for 40 years, all crew presumed dead. The oil company wants to lay the ship’s crew to rest and its research back. Too bad it is in the Arctic Circle and in Russian territory. One salvage crew the Carpenters a family business take on the task, while Marine Biologist Moriah Lamb comes aboard to collect the ship’s research. Moriah has noticed some strange occurrences in her marine animals since the Tsunami, but nothing as strange as what happens when they find the Derleth!
Joe Hill and horror comics are like peanut butter and jelly they just go together. With hits like Locke & Key (which finally got released on Netflix) and his horror novel chops one suspects big things when you see his name on a book. Much less his own imprint within DC’s Black Label, Joe Hill House Comics. That can be a lot of pressure but Hill knows about pressure being the son of Stephen King and following in his footsteps. He delivers a wonderful start in Plunge #1.
Being the first issue Hill has a lot of set up to do and he does it tremendously well. He guides us through the basic plot of the series and sets up the characters and locations superbly well. It is a perfect match for his novel-writing and comic book storytelling. He delivers character and plot details but also lets the artist Stewart Immonen tell the story visually as well.
Plunge #1 is set up perfectly for me. I got to know all the characters and get a little connection with them. It is laid out wonderfully as a classic horror film. Following some familiar tropes, but it works. We get the team together for the very odd, creepy mission. There is a fantastic eerie undertone to everything as well. It just plays out impeccably well.
Look, not going to lie I saw Stuart Immonen’s name on Plunge #1 and that was my big reason for picking it up. He has been tacking a bit of a break from comics so I was obviously excited to see him drawing this whole issue. Like always he does some incredible sequential work. Immonen renders and details characters and locations wonderfully. Immonen’s sketchy yet detailed style is always just a pleasure to see on the shelves.
He catches the mood and tone of Plunge #1 so well. That Ominous eerie tone is felt throughout the issue. With Immonen capturing that in the settings and the characters. Also, the way he sets up panels or the perspective we are seeing is immensely helpful in telling the story in the issue and sets the horror vibe.
It also helps to have Dave Stewart on colors. I don’t know if anyone is better at catching that ghastly vibe quite like Dave Stewart. Obviously, if you have read any Hellboy comics you know exactly what I am talking about. Stewart knows how to manipulate the coloring to really nail that dreadful feeling.
I was not expecting to like Plunge #1 as much as I did. I mean I knew the visuals would be spectacular with Stewart Immonen and Dave Stewart but I am not a big “horror” person and as most people know hate being scared. Plunge #1 just had a wonderfully creepy, ominous vibe to it that just sucked me right in. The story and characters were all engaging and really just captured me throughout the issue. After the last page, I immediately wanted more. It is not gory scary or visually scary. It just has a delightful ominous dreadful tone to it that engulfs you.
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