Stel’s hope and optimism is once again under assault. Will she continue to remain steadfast? Is it good?
Low #5 (Image Comics)
Rick Remender opens this issue with Stel exerting her will and displaying her sheer determination and mental resolve to succeed no matter the obstacle or evil that stands in her path. The evil standing in her path is monstrous. Roln has imprisoned Stel for four months attempting to break her and acquire the location of the probe.
The dialogue between Stel and Roln is wonderful and reveals Roln not only as the primary villain but as Stel’s opposite. While Stel relies on hope to survive and continue on, Roln views hope as a weapon to destroy Stel.
The bulk of this issue focuses on Roln’s plot to snatch the hope from Stel and ultimately crush her. The plan revolves around Marik and his performance within the gladiatorial pit.
Marik’s attitude has completely changed in this issue. He has embraced his mother’s optimism and belief in self to shape the world around him. The reader has to employ a little suspension of disbelief to wrap their head around this occurrence — this was the same young man who just a few issues back attempted to commit suicide and now he fights for his life every day!
The build-up to the gladiatorial bout is very reminiscent of Gladiator. Marik has embraced the role of the people’s hero, beseeching them to rise up and throw off the chains of Roln. Remender has the reader wanting to know what happened during the four months between Low #4 and this current issue. The following sequence Remender begins with a bit of reflection (and maybe a tad too much foreshadowing) diving into Marik’s thoughts. His thoughts are accompanied by Greg Tochinni’s battle sequences and truly ferociously gorgeous creatures including a monstrous eel and an even more massive shrimp.
In between these two bouts, Remender examines the relationship between Stel and Tajo. It is an intriguing conversation, which leaves one with more questions than answers. What exactly has Roln done to Tajo?
The book ends with a shock despite the massive foreshadowing Remender provided. He provides the reader with hope only to snatch it away… or does he?
Is It Good?
Low #5 continues to explore the depth and resolve of Stel’s optimism and hope as it is put to some brutally tough tests. There were some spelling errors which took away from key parts of the dialogue. However, it did not take away from Remender’s ability to capture and bring hope to the reader despite massive foreshadowing to the contrary. Stel’s optimism is contagious on and off the page.