Review: ‘The Deep Sea’ One-Shot

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Jimmy Palmoitti and Justin Gray give us the deep sea adventure we’ve all been waiting for. An interesting premise is given a great start this month in The Deep Sea. Sadly, it falls just short of greatness due to an uneven pace and too few moments of character development. The interesting protagonist does add a lot of weight to the one shot, but fails to resonate with me like any great character should.

WRITTEN BY: Jimmy Palmoitti & Justin Gray
ART BY: Tony Akins
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: May 22, 2013

Paul Barry is an old man with a haunted past. Fifty years ago something went seriously wrong on a routine deep-sea dive. Paul lost his crew, and worse yet he was supposed to be below the sea with them. In the present things become murky when Paul is reunited with his team he believed to be dead. For him it’s been fifty years, for them, a day.

This premise alone would be enough to captivate any reader. “The Deep Sea” manages to keep its grounding through Paul and makes his reunion with his lost crew emotional and interesting. Yet, a group of time traveling deep sea divers hardly feels like enough of a hook for a series anymore. Luckily Jimmy Palmoitti & Justin Gray up the ante in the final few pages and really give this book a shot in the arm.

One shot’s can be a pretty polarizing experience, with some being magnificent and some just being plain awful. Exposition is usually the key to success, just enough of it to tell the story, but not too much to kill the pacing. Sadly, The Deep Sea’s pacing really slows to a crawl in a backstory that could have been better serviced down the road. As it stands a lot of groundwork is laid to introduce characters, but little to no character development is done outside of Paul.

What results is a mildly entertaining introduction to a seemingly interesting cast of characters, and a sense of impending doom that should have been established sooner.

Tony Akin’s art is great in just the sheer amount of information he managed to cram into a single page. His paneling allows for upwards of nine panels a page which are packed with visual information, and cleverly placed dialogue. Things ramp up near the end, and when things start to shake, so do Akin’s panels. Akins seems to relish moments with loads of action, and creates a large sense of scale with multiple massive panels showcasing some infernal beasts of the deep sea.

The script provides an excellent setting to an ongoing world, and an interesting cast I’d like to see more of. Combine that with some stellar art, and some truly incredible beasts of the deep, and “The Deep Sea” ongoing series could show a lot of promise. As a one-shot, it missed the mark.

2.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by Jimbus_Christ