Challengers Deep #1 (Boom Studios – Cosby / Schmidt / Chee)
When an experimental nuclear submarine is marooned in a deposit of methane ice deep in the Marianas Trench, an elite salvage team mounts a daring rescue to prevent an explosive chain reaction that could lead to global disaster! From the creator of the hit Sci-Fi Channel show EUREKA!
Based on an idea by Andrew Cosby, best know for his TV series, “Eureka” (check out his movie “Damnation” in 2009 about vampires taking over the US) the story is scripted by ex-Marvel Editor (X-Factor, Annihilation), stay at home Dad, and break into the business guru (check out his site at www.comicsexperience.com) Andrew Schmidt.
So many of Boom’s books either suffer from a lack of good story or a lack of good art, it’s unusual for a book to achieve both good art and good story telling. Challenger Deep is a typical Boom Studios book, great potential, not quite reached. It has all the elements of a good story. But like so many Boom Books, it suffers from a rushed story and weak visual storytelling/art.
That said, issue one has enough ‘secrets’ to keep me interested, I just hope they don’t turn out to be too obvious. And the scenes with the protagonist we engaging, but overall there was little real pacing and little suspense built. The submarine scenes, lacked any tension, timing, realism, or sense actually. It is definitely a freshman writing effort, but Andrew Schmidt shows some saavy and skill he will be able to build on.
My biggest gripe, and you’ll probably hear this a lot, was with the art. There was a great chance to capture the immensity of the ocean depths, like the covers do. And it just isn’t there. There was a great chance to contrast the cramped sub and cramped war room with the wide, deep, cold expanse of the ocean. While I liked this more naturalistic version of Chee’s art, he just wasn’t able to capture any of that. This book needed an artist who could work cinematically, realistically and capture the immensity, and humbling awesomeness of the ocean depths. Big ol’ missed opportunity. There was also the problem of distinguishing between characters, and honestly the graphic story telling was plain weak, uninteresting and uninspired.
Like Boom itself, the book has potential, it just needs to pull it all together and reach it.
Over all C+, on strength of idea and potential.