Vitals:Title: Underground #1
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Steve Lieber
Colors: Ron Chan
Content: Underground is for mature audiences and contains violence, language, and adult situations.
Introduction:I’ve often thought that if I was making comics, I’d want to do the kinds of comics that Lieber and Parker make. That is to say, original stories with great art, where I was in creative control of the characters and outcomes. Lieber has done that with Whiteout, soon to be a major motion picture, which has won acclaim the world over with its Eisner wins. Parker has also done this, with Agents of Atlas, his stellar run on Marvel Adventures: Avengers, and X-Men First Class. I’ve always appreciated Parker’s ability to do mainstream comics his own way and Liebers attention to detail and old school work ethic with his slick art. To hear that the duo was conspiring together to unleash a comic definitely got my interest.
Story:From the press release – “Park Ranger and avid caver Wesley Fischer is on a one-woman mission to stop Stillwater Cave from being turned into a tourist trap, but public opinion is not on her side. When locals begin blasting in the cave, Wes and a fellow ranger investigate – and a confrontation spirals into a deadly chase deep under the Kentucky mountains!”
Review:Parker’s writing is great here. He does a good job in Underground with the many different aspects of the story. Parker's control of the romantic dialogue, witty banter, and mysterious foreshadowing does the comic well.
Lieber is no slouch either as his artwork really brings Wesley and the cast alive with the excellent detail in both facial features and background work. I like the way Lieber plays with light and dark, casting shadows over character features in the way only a good black and white artist can.
My one…well concern isn’t the right word…I guess “wondering” will work. The big wondering I have about the series is that at its core, the premise of Underground is pretty basic. It almost has reminiscing tones of Scooby Doo with the big bad guy wanting to destroy the natural resource and those crazy kids getting in the way to save it. But knowing the kind of writer and artist Parker and Lieber are I wonder how they are going to take this somewhat basic premise and turn it into a spine bending thriller. For me, I guess that is what’s hooking me. I know things are going to go wrong. It’s going to get dark and grisly and I want to see how they unfold it to the reader. I could see it going down a mundane path, but what I know of the creative team suggests that there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way.