Challenger Deep #3 (Boom! Studios – Cosby / Schmidt / Chee)
Take a deep breath. Hold it. Now, imagine you’re on a -I didn’t say breathe!- on a sunken submarine at the bottom of the ocean, teetering on enough methane ice to blow the world in half if you make Ihe slightest wrong move. Your only prayer of survival lies with the only diver on Earth who’s ever gone this deep. Of course, that was the time he lost his wife and half his crew, but he’s older now. Comforted? No? Thank writers Andrew Cosby, creator of the hit Sci-Fi Channel show Eureka, and Andy Schmidt!
Challenger Deep has stepped up the intensity and the quality of this book quite a bit within the first three issues. I believe this series is finally starting to reach what it is capable of. In short form, what it is giving us the “submarine pressure-cooker” movie in a comic form. And at first it looked like it was going to be a tough package to deliver. But now, after setting the stage in the first two issues, Cosby and Schmidt are able to get down to work and make us willingly sweat it out with the cast and crew.
Between the mental distress of those in charge, a mutiny in the works, failing technology (classic plot device) and trying to make sure the world doesn’t blow-up, there is quite a bit of potential stress packed between these pages. It has naturally taken a few issues for Andrew Cosby (huge Eureka fan here) and Andy Schmidt to lay down a framework for the characters to work within and now they are finally able to show their ability to keep the reader glued to the pages. From the first frame, Challenger will have you hooked… nineteen minutes to detonation, darkness and panic are the predominant themes and the crew is barely keeping it together… even if you had no previous knowledge of the story nor interest, you are in for the ride. In the same way I can’t stop watching The Abyss when it’s on or compelled to reading whole chunks of The Hunt for Red October, the authors have gotten down the emotional thread that will connect you to Challenger Deep.
I am still struggling with the art of this book. There were pages that really nailed it and you get the sense of desolation in the trench, the emotion of loss of hope and the fear and quiet of the deep dark… and there are other pages that look rough, especially some of the group shots, and seem pretty close to fill-in art.
Overall, a fantastic book that seems to really be showing it’s potential.
Issue Grade: B+