Underground – Under-hyped and Exceptional!

Underground #1-5 (Image – Parker / Lieber)

Park Ranger and avid caver Wesley Fischer is on a one-woman mission to stop Stillwater Cave from being turned into a tourist trap, but public opinion is not on her side. When locals begin blasting in the cave, Wes and a fellow ranger investigate – and a confrontation spirals into a deadly chase deep under the Kentucky mountains!… Wes and Seth have come to the end of the line- and so has Harden. As everyone converges upon the entrance to Stillwater Cave up above, the conflict below reaches a very final conclusion.

Not unlike Proof, another Image series, the promotion of how fantastic the Underground series is, is happening through forums and word of mouth at comic shops, rather than through the more predictable venues like Wizard (involuntary eye-roll) or even the Image website.  I just don’t get it, it seems like the big wigs at Image focus in on a few of their books, and the rest (no matter how good they are) just get nothing as far as promotion goes.

Underground is a riveting, raw-nerve drama thriller that has nothing to do with capes, monsters or supernatural anything.  If you wanted a book to try to convince a non-geek that comics can be something worth wild, interesting and entertaining then writer Jeff Parker has brought you Christmas early.  I sat down and read issues #1-5 in one setting and was absolutely captivated and impressed!  Underground has all of the characterization, dialogue, action and suspense that you expect not only from a good comic, but also out of a great screenplay.  This really rocked!  But all the glory shouldn’t just go to Parker’s plot, the geek-goodness aura of this books also radiated from Steve Lieber’s art.  Lieber was able to capture the real emotion and drama of every interaction, draw in a “realistic” way and without the “realism” of the art being burdensome to the reader. In some ways, the structure and function of the art here took me back to when I was kid reading reprints of Prince Valiant (and to younger readers who don’t know who Prince Valiant is – that is a high compliment).

No doubt about it, Underground is a future classic

Series Grade: A

Series Site Here

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Updated: March 31, 2010 — 11:44 am

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