"Broken Moon: Legends of the Deep #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by American Gothic Press
Written by Ben Meares
Illustrated by Nat Jones
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 30th, 2016
The world has gone to shit ever since the moon blew up, shrouding the planet in a perpetual darkness. Vampires have risen up a few ranks on the food chain. We've seen some of their story already in the original Broken Moon mini-series. Now we're exploring what other supernatural creatures are up to, specifically a werewolf, his small village, and some rival fish men in Legends of the Deep. The two factions have been at war for some time, although neither really knows why. The large scale pollution of the seas have forced these gill men up from the depths and now they're looking for some help.
Of course, since this is a dystopian society, there's a segment of the population that wants to shoot first and ask questions later. This group is led by Lorren, who looks like an extra from Mad Max. He's strong and a tad deranged, which makes others flock to him. He's rather imposing with one eye gone, covered in scar tissue and jagged, shark-like teeth filling his mouth. It's tough to decide which is a scarier being: him, the werewolf, or the fish men.
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Speaking of the monsters from the black lagoon, they're a bit odd and not just because they came out of the sea seemingly out of nowhere. They've decided that since humans are responsible for polluting the water, humans should clean it up. That would be a fair assessment if the world didn't end a few years ago. The people that created the factories and industries that led to such a toxic living space for them are long dead so their request is unreasonable. It's like blaming Spain today for the atrocities committed by Christopher Columbus hundreds of years ago.
It turns out all that pollution has created mutant fish men that are wreaking havoc under the sea. They don't look all that different from the regular creatures, aside from glowing yellow eyes and some drool. It's interesting how noble the normal ones look compared to the mindlessness of the infected batch. The designs for the gill men are ancient and powerful. They are covered in armor plating, clearly strong enough to withstand the enormous pressure of the ocean depths.
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Artist Nat Jones has a loose style in Broken Moon. This is light on detail with some forms taking on a sketch-like quality. This is hit-or-miss throughout the book. Some scenes look great, but others look rushed or unfinished. For example, there's a shot about halfway through of some people on motorcycles. You can see the basic form to sort of make out what's in the panel, but if you look the wrong way, you're just going to see some squiggles. On the same page is an awesome close-up shot of Lorren with madness in his one good eye.
The one drawback to Legends of the Deep is that it doesn't stand entirely on its own. You can make your way through it, but if you haven't read the first Broken Moon series, you will be missing a lot of context, especially towards the end of the issue. This is an awesome and terrifying world that's clearly going to get worse before it gets better. A small group of people have managed to survive and carve out some semblance of a life for themselves, despite overwhelming odds and the very real possibility that they'd be eaten by some form of monster. Although there's a bevy of beasts, we see once again that humankind is capable of standing toe-to-toe with the likes of werewolves and mutant fish men when it comes to violence. Go us?