Well here it is… the final issue for this volume of Undertow. I certainly hope there’s a second volume because I have thoroughly enjoyed this series that has taken a look at Atlantis in a very different way. The creative team of Steve Orlando and Artyom Trakhanov have delivered a rewarding conclusion for this first volume and left the door open for the world to continue. With any mini-series it’s important that each issue can stand on its own, but still serve the whole. If it feels too reliant on the previous issues then it’s usually not going to be a great single issue, but rather something that needs to be read as a whole. Undertow has been very successful at telling its story in complete chapters that support each other and this final issue is no different.
We were left with a cliffhanger last time as we saw the ship that Anshargal and Ukinnu were in destroyed. Well our Atlantean invaders aren’t stupid and have remained on the ship while they search for Anshargal’s body. So how did they survive? Well I won’t say exactly, but they do and our trio is now left underneath their ship with only one way inside. Meanwhile, inside we find Uruku as a hostage. One of her captors is talking mad shit to her and it finally sets her off. She begins merking bastards left and right. Eventually though she’s taken down when her own people get in the way of her taking a clear shot, but her saving grace is that they’re waiting for confirmation of Anshargal’s death before killing her.
There is also a great epilogue to this issue with artist Yaroslav Astapeev taking over on art. The story expands our knowledge of this world and adds some great commentary about our own. The art was wonderful and while it was different from Trakhanov’s, it still worked for the short story.
What’s impressive about the writing on this issue is that it not only wraps up the story arc in a rewarding manner, but it takes a moment to show the ship settling back down. It’s quick, but it makes the story rewarding. It doesn’t stop there though as it builds towards the next chapter, but not in a way that invalidates the story we just read. Instead it just feels like we should be getting a new issue next month.
I’ve never had a complaint about the art on this series. I can see it being difficult to absorb for some people, but for me I just really enjoy the fact that Trakhanov’s pages look like art. You want to study them to catch every little detail. In particular I like his small circle panels that Trakhanov uses to show movement or key items. It’s very cool and adds so much style to the art and story.
This really has been a surprisingly good series, one that I never expected to like this much or passionately follow. It’s been a while that I’ve gotten excited for a series and really rooted for it, but here I am shouting from the rooftops about Undertow. At this point if you haven’t checked it out you might want to wait for the trade or you could be a sport and support the creators by buying their comic either in print or digitally. It’s been a hell of a series and hopefully I won’t be left waiting for more of this fantastic series.
Writer: Steve Orlando Artist: Artyom Trakhanov Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 7/23/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital