‘The Deep #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

When we last saw the Nekton family, explorers extraordinaire, they found themselves off the coast of Greenland in their submarine, The Aronnax. The youngest explorer Antaeus, also called “Ant,” was in a robot-like diving suit to investigate the remains of a massive blue whale, but he soon realized there was something roaming the waters several times larger than what was previously considered “the largest creature on Earth.” This realization came to Ant as the gigantic teeth with fins came back to devour the remaining half of the marine mammal.

Now, The Deep #2 picks back up after a close call by creating a funny atmosphere with characters producing classic moments that’ll make you laugh; a newscaster tries to make home footage on a boat of “some water and some running and screaming” sound dramatic, since there are reports of a monster below the surface. Then, we see a young, “hot shot” fisherman make fun of another who lost his boat in Issue 1, and even imply that he probably sank it himself “for the insurance.” The back-and-forth between these two showcases how writer and co-creator Tom Taylor generates humorous dialogue from individuals that aren’t even the main cast of characters. Plus, it helps when the supposed hot shot runs for his life, jumping into the arms of another person, hoping to be protected, after seeing something in the water.

Taylor’s ability to tell a well-constructed story goes uninterrupted as he continues effortlessly from the first issue into the second. Our explorers arrive shortly after this scaredy cat moment, and their presence captures your attention. They are inquisitive and know how to deal with a nosy reporter only looking to make headlines. Did I mention they’re funny and show unflinching support for each other? Taylor further highlights an unwavering trust from the parents, Will and Kaiko, allowing their kids to be fully immersed with their exploration.

Artist and co-creator James Brouwer starts the second comic book with a close-up of Ant on the cover page. He’s in his wetsuit about as wide-eyed as his fish, Jeffrey, which emphasizes his reaction from the end of the last chapter. If you don’t remember the fish, it’s the one he was training to fetch like a dog, and don’t worry, his sister Fontaine might’ve shared the same skepticism you’re feeling at this very moment. Brouwer draws with an amazing range of colors, blending backgrounds, lighting, and clothing so well that nothing ever seems out of place. He also dedicates an entire page to magnify the depth of which the Nekton’s submarine is investigating, with defined edges and shadows indicating how far down a trench will reach. Facial expressions are another key trait for Brouwer as he enhances characters’ feelings and the hilarity of certain situations.

This series continues its all-ages adventure by matching the stellar first issue published by BOOM! Studios. Taylor and Brouwer have crafted a playful tale filled with a fun family, humorous moments, and a mystery that must be solved, grabbing your attention all within the first two chapters. This makes the third in this series a must-have when it comes out, which is currently scheduled to be released on March 15.

The Deep #2 is available for pre-order before its release date in print and digital form on Wednesday, February 15.

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