Writer: Mirka Andolfo & David Goy
Artist: Andrea Broccato & Barbara Nosenzo
Cover Artist: Andrea Broccardo & Andrea Meloni
Publisher: IMAGE COMICS
We jump into the future…or a couple decades into the future. In Deep Beyond Earth is devastated by a plague-like apocalypse that’s mutating the world with monstrous flora and fauna. Humanity only survives in specially built colonies, and now one scientist is willing to venture into the outside world to help save a fellow scientist. Deep Beyond #2 shows just how far he will make it.
The comic picks up immediately where the first issue left off with Paul and Jolene, or J, running from an attacking mutant monster. The comic gets right into the action here and doesn’t let up for the first few pages. But then after the action passes, things cool down as the comic goes through some of the lives of the main characters. Many of which are being introduced for the first time in this comic.
A problem is how easily the comic almost forgets about Paul Bailey, the protagonist or seeming protagonist. He’s almost treated like a third wheel in this comic and not much is done with him and this is backed up by a certain moment in the comic, which I’ll delve into further in the Spoilers section. The first issue introduced the character J and this comic expands a little bit more on her group.
One thing about these rebels, as they’re called, is how the comic has them call each other by the first letter of their names. It’s both fun and weird but the comic does establish their character archetypes quick enough. Lastly, the terrorist attack from the first issue is mentioned here but it’s treated like it wasn’t much of an event. The real focus is getting Paul and the rebels underwater, and by the looks of the end, it feels like the comic is finally getting there.
As I said earlier, it feels like Paul was almost forgotten in this entire issue. He’s not only pushed to the back to show off the new characters but he doesn’t really contribute much to the story. Heck, there’s even a moment where he helps them out with something and J basically says he did what they needed and can go now. She literally says, “Good work. We don’t need you anymore. Bye.” And he’s like, ‘Wait, what?’ The thing is it’s clear this comic wants to develop his character from a cowardly person into a braver man, but it’s not giving readers much to go on.
At this point, Paul’s been forced to do things others wanted and has been shown to be either incompetent or a scaredy-cat to do anything. We haven’t actually seen him make a genuine decision where there wasn’t someone threatening him to do anything yet. There’s a glimmer of a good character here but so far he’s been a lacking protagonist and I’m afraid if the comic doesn’t change things up, Paul might literally get pushed to the sidelines in this comic for other characters.
Deep Beyond #2 gives us more introductions to the characters of this world, but so far not much is done with the protagonist himself. However, this comic is now inching closer and closer to directly following its main premise. Hopefully, it picks up some steam in the next issue and dives right into what this comic is really about.