Series: Hill House Comics #5.
Writer(s): Joe Hill.
Artist(s): Stuart Immonen.
Colourist(s): Dave Stewart.
Letterer(s): Deron Bennett.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: November 17th 2020.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror.
My Overall Rating:
Also in the Hill House Comics series:
Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill.
The Dollhouse Family by Mike Carey.
The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado.
Daphne Byrne by Laura Marks.
Humans are filled with motives of all kind, orienting their actions, especially when facing adversity. Drawing upon their most basic desires while fearing the most terrifying outcomes pertaining to their well-being, their actions lead them to make decisions that are beyond principles of utilitarianism. Thankfully, some individuals will sacrifice themselves for the greater good, especially if the end of the world is around the corner. The final story published under the Hill House Comics—at least for the time being—now belongs once again to the curator himself, writer Joe Hill, who teams up with artist Stuart Immonen to explore a mission to an isolated island where unfathomable terrors lurk and bide their time to finally crawl out of the darkness and wreak havoc.
What is Plunge about? Back in 1983, an impeccable and renown drilling ship known as the Derleth goes missing near the Arctic Circle. Decades later, the Rococo oil company hires the Carpenter brothers to investigate odd distress signals coming from that very long-ago disappeared ghost ship. With a marine biologist and an oil executive, the team embarks on a treacherous adventure only to discover that the crew that should have been dead has somehow survived and they now have answers to humanity’s greatest questions that no one has ever solved to this day. Unfortunately for the team, their rescue mission turns into a survival game, one where the stakes implicate the fate of humanity that now rests upon the shoulders of peculiar individuals, some with the most vile vices.
“Maybe if we go fast enough, we can outrun the dark.”— Joe Hill
Without hiding anything from his readers, writer Joe Hill channels his inner H.P. Lovecraft, Ridley Scott, and John Carpenter to deliver a brilliant horror story with the right amount of dark humour to counterbalance the ghastly horror elements. As the story progresses, he brilliantly and methodically unveils the shape and form of the imminent danger, a pool of menace that the characters unfortunately find themselves in. While the story grows at a steady pace all the way to the grand finale, writer Joe Hill also does an excellent job in meticulously exploring his characters in the little timeframe he has. He allows each and every one of them the chance to showcase their personalities and contribute in some way to the unfolding of events, clearly impacting the outcome of their escapade as they all debate individual and world interests to decide how they wish to act if they are to survive or die honourably.
As noted by writer Joe Hill in his afterword, this graphic novel also succeeds immensely thanks to artist Stuart Immonen’s stunning artwork. His concept art is impeccable, his grasp on developing eerie atmospheres is mind-boggling, and his ability to draw emotionally-nuanced characters is indubitable. The story itself isn’t told to scare readers through raw gore and horror but rather instore a sense of fear within the narrative through ideas and Stuart Immonen’s artwork achieves the necessary terror to remind us that the threat presented here should not be taken lightly. Not to mention that colourist Dave Stewart’s work is the ultimate touch that gives this volume the tone and mood needed to immerse the reader in a captivating story that they won’t be disappointed to discover.
Plunge is a chilling horror story exploring humanity’s fear and greed on top of their genuine sense of solidarity and fraternity in the face of evil.