Have you taken the plunge yet? After the first issue, you may be on the fence, but Joe Hill and Stuart Immonen are certainly creating a brooding sense of terror. Hill spoke a bit about the series on the AIPT Comics Podcast, comparing it to The Thing, so you can understand it’s a story about monsters in the middle of nowhere. With the character wrinkles and basic plot out of the way, Plunge #2 sets to get us as entangled with the mysteries, monsters, and dangers ahead for our characters.
I have to marvel at the character work Joe Hill is doing with this and the last issue. There are very finite character elements that shine through via the dialogue and the excellent art by Stuart Immonen. In a scene where the characters stand over a body, you can gather the personality of each character very well. It’s a good example of how the series feels like a television show since they talk and act in such a realistic way. The dialogue tends to be interesting because of this as we attempt to understand what we’re working with and the dynamics between the characters. The work going into these characters is going to pay dividends when characters die or are in danger down the road. Hill is doing the heavy lifting now to make us care.
Immonen is a big part of that — after all, he’s making these characters act, and there are some incredible visuals in this issue. I spoke a bit in my review of the last issue of how it was very dialogue-heavy and not so interesting, but now that the characters have set foot on the island of doom (my name for it, not the comic’s), it’s getting real with the visual scares. There are creepy elements of all sorts that should get your heart rate up or your hairs standing on end. This creepy and wet island is a character in itself, and the hidden secrets in its caves and under its waters are beginning to rear their heads.
Hill and Immonen do well to progress things in this issue too. It opens where we left off with a dead, sets up some dangers on the boat itself, and…well you’ll just have to read it. There are elements jiving with each other in unique ways, further making this island and the story feel organic and real.
After this second issue, Plunge may be my favorite Hill House Comic yet. It captures your imagination and runs wild with its horrors.