Undertow #1

Undertow #1

Writer: Steve Orlando Artist: Artyom Trakhanov Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 19, 2014 Cover Price: $2.99 Critic Reviews: 23 User Reviews: 2
7.4Critic Rating
6.0User Rating

Atlantis is the world superpower, and Redum Anshargal is its worst enemy. If you want to break free of the system, he can offer you a place at his side, exploring the wild surface world in his watertight city barge The Deliverer. He and his hostage-protege Ukinnu Alal hunt the Amphibian, a legend that could be the key to an air-breathing life on land. But as they become the hunted, can Anshargal's team survive long enough to turn the tables on the godlike beast they set out for?

A brand new pulp monster adventure with Ray Harryhausen at its heart and a look at Atlantis like never before from the up-and-coming team of writer STEVE ORLANDO (Mystery in Space) and artist ARTYOM TRAKHANOV.

  • 10
    Stash My Comics - Leo Johnson Feb 18, 2014

    This is another first issue from Image that is sure to be a sellout. It takes the well-known concept of Atlantis and takes it in new directions, all while making it a fully realized world. This is the sort of first issue that other comics should seek to emulate. What makes it even more impressive is the fact that Orlando and Trakhanov make something this great in what is their first mainstream comic work. It's not fair when creators made something this good so early on. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Unleash The Fanboy - Max Delgado Feb 18, 2014

    Only one issue in and Undertow has hit the ground running. And I can't wait to see where it goes next. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Booked - Aaron Clutter Feb 23, 2014

    There is a lot in Undertow #1. There is the angst of a young man whose life has been mapped out, only wanting to escape and have the freedom to choose his own future. The character of Redum Anshargal, a captain who places the lives of his people before all else, searching tirelessly for a way to save a nation that has demonized him. The other characters have had minor impact so far, but there are many key roles yet to be explained. I look forward to seeing more of Steve Orlando's exploration of a time before mankind was the ruler of the land and the sea and the Atlantean civilization had not yet fallen. Overall a great comic book with an intriguing story and a very unique concept. I recommend this book. Read Full Review

  • 9.8
    IGN - Mike Logsdon Feb 19, 2014

    Artyom Trakhanov's artwork is strikingly stylized. His colors are incredibly rich and bold, providing contrasts of blue and green water with red, red blood. This whole thing is gorgeous, and the scripting and art work together seamlessly to give us a tour of Atlantean life, technology, and philosophy that you'll be itching to see more of. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Nerds Unchained - Lenny Wojt Feb 18, 2014

    Undertow #1 is a very cool sci-fi tale that has tons to work with after the first issue. The characters, drama and mysteries can only get better from here. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Bloody Disgusting - Bree Ogden Feb 21, 2014

    Intended to be a somewhat exaggerated mirror of our modern life and our modern consolations, Undertow definitely sets out to make the reader think. But it also sets out to entertain. This is a brilliantly crafted and illustrated comic. The pacing is quick but relentless and the characters are extremely multifaceted. Aside from any agenda, the comic stands strong on its own as a dystopian fantasy adventure. Read Full Review

  • 8.2
    Graphic Policy - Brett Schenker Feb 15, 2014

    This being Trakhanov's mainstream debut as well as Orlando's first full length publication, it's an even more impressive debut. I'm expecting another sell-out from Image and a series that'll have a lot of folks buzzing about and launch point for both of these creators. This was a first issue I finished and it immediately got me excited and wanting to read the next issue to find out more about this world and what these two creators have in store for us. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Vine - Jen 'Miss J' Aprahamian Feb 19, 2014

    UNDERTOW is intriguing, partly because it's giving us a fresh angle from which to experience a sci-fi/adventure comic, and partly because it's packed with fascinating visuals. It's clever and modern in its scripting, but has classic pulp notes artistically, and the combo works well. Atlantis is something we know by name but see differently in this book -- it's a hotbed of political intrigue, ripe with story possibilities. We're thrust directly into a raucous search for a mythical monster, all in the name of science and rebellion, and if this first issue is any indication, UNDERTOW is yet another solid selection from Image's science-themed set. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - Pierce Lydon Feb 19, 2014

    As far as first issues go, this has to be considered a win. It's good enough t to hook readers because it poses many opportunities for Orlando and Trakhanov to explore different themes and potential plotlines. It'll be interesting to see where it goes moving forward. Trakhanov's art is definitely a little off the beaten path but only in the best ways. IT has an off-kilter weirdness to it that reminds me of a messier Eduardo Risso. Once he gets a better handle on communicating location a bit more effectively, the art will truly sing. Undertow is still finding its sea legs but this is a good debut from a brand-new creative team. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Multiversity Comics - Vince Ostrowski Feb 20, 2014

    “Undertow” delivers on all of the promise that “Aquaman” has failed with for a while now. I keep bringing it up, because this is another example of a couple of lesser known creators and Image Comics beating the bigger guys at their own game. By providing the groundwork for what looks to be a rich, politically-minded action-adventure character piece, Orlando and Trakhanov give us yet another Image Comics genre series to put on our pull lists that we can all point to as a shining beacon of quality. The type of quality that gets us excited come “Image Expo” time and then actually gets delivered on. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Rhymes With Geek - Kyle Overkill Feb 18, 2014

    Undertow presents some great and big ideas. These ideas are not always presented clearly, especially for a first issue. It took me a second read through to appreciate the story as a whole and that may be a lot to ask a new reader to do. Undertow feels like it is under construction but with the materials it presents feels like its worth sticking around for the final product. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comicosity - Jessica Boyd Feb 18, 2014

    Orlando has worked hard to sell you on this society. This a book that hinges so much on how you take in the gorgeous art that takes your time and careful eye to appreciate all of the details. It is a beautiful book that you should see just where it is headed. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Newsarama - Michael Moccio Feb 20, 2014

    Overall, the issue makes some interesting explorations into this unique iteration of Atlantean culture and deserves at least another issue to let the team find its footing. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Spectrum - Shawn Hoklas Feb 22, 2014

    Steve Orlando's story tells us about Redum Anshargal. He's from Atlantis, but no longer part of the kingdom. Unlike Marvel's Namor, he feels that there may be something better than Atlantis, and he's determined to build it. One of the most important missions in doing so is to go on a hunt for the mysterious creature called the Amphibian. He feels that the Amphibian can unlock the key of breathing both under water, and above it. Again, a much different take on Atlantis. After reading this issue I'm intrigued with the world that they're building, and to see if this Redum Anshargal is either villain, hero, or both. I've been pulled in by this issue's creative take on a world we've seen before, and I'm excited to read more. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Book Resources - Marykate Jasper Feb 21, 2014

    Even for those readers who find the opening more off-putting than I did, Trakhanov's remarkable art and Orlando's unique premise should be enough to bring them back for Issue #2. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comics Bulletin - Taylor Lilley Feb 25, 2014

    While Trakhanov lends heft and texture to the exiles' various technologies, Orlando elucidates at length upon them, when the simple sight of the Deliverer, a twin-hulled craft capable of submerging or flying (beat that, Helicarrier) says it all. Then there's the dun-dun-DAH ending with large multi-limbed beasty, strangely reductive for a book with such big visions. And sadly, the ladies have so far had very little to do but coax and gaze. It's possible I want this book to be more cerebral, more allegorical than it intends to be, that actually it's a strikingly original adventure book, for which Trakhanov will doubtlessly provide jaw-dropping cliffhangers and page-turns. Either way, hopefully issue #2 will plot a clearer course, and we can all be joyfully pulled under. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    All-Comic - Ian Stephen Feb 17, 2014

    Undertow feels like it has a lot of potential but just had a bumpy start in this first issue. Again, it's that opening battle scene that personally felt confusing and unnecessary. They could have easily just opened with Ukinnu Alal already on board the Deliverer and addressed his past in a later issue after presenting the plot in a more solid way. In fact they could have left Alal out all together and focused more on Redum who is the most interesting character presented so far. Even if this debut issue was cluttered, it's worth checking out just for the art. There is a feeling that as this series goes on the creators will settle into their own story. You feel plenty of heart in Undertow that can still be turned into a strong series, it just might take a couple more issues to get there. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    One Quest - Chris Cobb Feb 21, 2014

    Undertow has a pretty unique view on such a fabled and kind of overused world like Atlantis. In fact none of the book even happens there, it happens up on earth. But these characters are Atlanteans like in Marvel or DC, they're totally different and that's what makes it worth reading. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Feb 22, 2014

    Undertow is a politically charged science-fiction book. It uses a lot of real-life components but puts them in a new setting. The comic features two characters, one of which is a very grisly and interesting one. The book has a lot of potential but it is clear this issue is meant to simply begin the long story rather than shock and awe the reader. This is the ground floor to something that will probably have a bigger payoff down the road. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comics Refueled - jsarrow Feb 21, 2014

    Undertow definitely ha some clear issues about it that need to be fixed and touched up if this is to be an on-going series, and I'm sure Orlando and Trakhanov won't let us down, but the idea behind the comic is definitely a new one that I haven't heard of or even thought about myself and is very intriguing in it's own special way. Read Full Review

  • 5.5
    AiPT! - Jordan Richards Feb 19, 2014

    Undertow #1 shows potential and is creative, but fell flat for its first issue. It overloads the audience with so much information constantly, the writing is weak in other places, and the artwork is an acquired taste. This may not be the book for me admittedly, but will most likely appeal to someone else. However, even knowing that, I cannot really recommend the book from what I read. Read Full Review

  • 4.5
    Front Towards Gamer - Lido Feb 19, 2014

    More than anything else Undertow was frustrating. It was frustrating because of how much I wanted to become immersed in the world being presented, but the comic just keeps fighting me and trying to keep me from actually knowing what's going on. The awful coloring is another kneecap to the storytelling here, as there's never anything worth focusing on in any panel and the characters are all so poorly differentiated that I just gave up trying by about half way through the comic. Maybe somewhere down the line Undertow will get better, but as of this issue, it's probably best if Atlantis remains lost: not recommended. Read Full Review

  • 3.5
    Florida Geek Scene - Peter Schmeiser Feb 19, 2014

    Undertow has a promise of a good story, but it is severely handicapped by the artwork. Every time I turned the page I blanched a little, hoping for it to end. This book could have a charm of being an adventure but it lacks the clear visuals that make the sea intriguing. If there is a new art team assigned, Id be willing to read this book further, but for now, Id be happy to watch it sink into the briny depths to be forgotten. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    melt_man Feb 20, 2014

    My relationship with this issue is conflicted on all levels. At times, the writing seemed pretentious, yet captivating. At times, the artwork seemed confusing, but at other times, very clear. I'm not sure what this book needs, but I'm pretty sure it's a change of some sort. If the writing is going to continue along the pretentious Hickman style, then the artwork needs to be very clean, clear, deliberate, and intentional. If the artwork is going to continue along the imaginative/trippy style of Robbi Rodriguez/Matteo Scalera, then the writing needs to be dumbed down. The best parts of the book were towards the ending, where we see the simplified story telling and intriguing artwork. I say we give it a couple more tries.

  • 4.5
    dave p Mar 5, 2014

    May have potential but this story was pretty confusing. I did like the artwork although it is a little hard to tell the characters apart sometimes. It seems different and could have an interesting storyline if the author can pull it together. I had to work way too hard to understand what was going on though and that's too much work for a comic book.

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