Review: Low #13

Low #13 brings the story back to the Caine sisters and their search for their mother. Tajo and Della are onboard their step sister, Lena’s sub toward the surface of the planet, and all seems to be well. At this point in the series we should know better than to trust a lull in a Remender comic, though, right? In what would otherwise be a dull issue, Remender hits us hard, proving that there is never any rest for the Caine family.

The majority of this issue focuses on Lena’s discussion with both sisters. She talks to Tajo about Della’s harsh upbringing and how violent she is. It’s obvious that she is trying to sow some type of dissent between them, but what is her motive? Della suddenly breaks their conversation after the sub runs into the remains of the Third City, the city that Tajo destroyed using the helm suit. She neglected to tell her sisters that brutal fact, and when she reveals the truth they snap. Tajo runs into her room to escape their anger and Lena uses this moment alone with Della to her advantage. Low-13Lena wants Della to take the helm suit for herself, and just about convinces her when she plays her hand. Smashing Della with a wrench and sending her out of an escape hatch into the ocean, we now know Lena’s true colors. Turns out that Lena is actually one of the survivors of the Third City, and a pirate. She continues her rampage and when Tajo emerges from her room she is greeted with a knife in the gut. Tajo bleeding out, and Della running out of air out in the ocean, things are looking pretty grim for the Caine sisters. Remender leaves us hanging once again, until next month.

I had some pretty big hang-ups with this issue. The biggest thing was Lena being a pirate and a traitor. It makes sense that Remender wants to keep the tension going, but adding in a new villain like this just seems like too much. The world of Low is populated by nothing but evil monstrous things that want to see the main characters fail, and it hurts, even more, when someone seemingly trustworthy turns out to be just another bad guy. Issue #13 sets itself up for this big surprise, but you can kind of feel that Lena is up to something right away, a feeling that wasn’t really apparent previously. Although her appearance in the Caine home was kind of suspicious from the beginning. This entire issue just felt a little too convenient. With only three people on the sub, in order to push the action along one of them had to do something crazy, and it was Lena, drowning and knifing each of the sisters respectively. The writing on this issue was a little weak, and the art was also kind of shaky and inconsistent (more so than Tocchini’s usual). I hate to see a dip in quality in one of my favorite books, but this issue just felt a little rushed.

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Low #13 Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Greg Tocchini Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/27/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital