Plunge is an excellent horror story that will send shivers down your spine and dark thoughts in your dreams. Joe Hill and Stuart Immonen are making magic in this series — issue #3 was a perfect 10/10 for me. The latest issue, out this week, shifts gears as the monster has revealed itself and it’s time to make a bargain. If I’ve learned anything from books and movies, you never, ever bargain with a monster.
Bargaining usually involves talking, which this book has a lot of. Sure, I was wishing for another look at that thing under the ocean waters, but I was also riveted by the gross things these monsters do to make their points. This issue essentially lays out how this story will proceed with the humans acting in a natural and believable way. Oh, and Joe Hill is crackerjack at writing dirty insults. The latter point keeps the book feeling realistic in its depiction of the characters, but also clever in its language. By the end of the issue things feel lost for our characters (save for the cliffhanger), and I’m curious to see how the mysterious monster ties into our reality, or maybe another entirely.
Immonen’s art continues to be a masterclass in character reactions, facial expressions and blocking. Seriously, give this man a Master Class course — he deserves it! I feel for these characters and I’ve technically only known them for a day or two and that’s largely due to Immonen’s work in humanizing them and making them believable. There are some standout gross-out moments not to be missed as well that hammer home the realities of these disgusting monsters.
As I alluded to, the scripting does leave you wondering if the characters can get on with things. This will likely read better when collected in a trade, but as a whole chunk of a single issue goes I was hoping for more ideas or visual luster to keep things interesting. A good 75% of the book is characters standing around. Given the first issue was largely like this though it should come as no surprise.
This is a good issue thanks to it pushing the plot forward and preparing us for the stakes in play. These characters are in a tricky situation that’s got them with very little answers — some of which may be given next issue — and I’d argue that’s a great place to leave off as the monsters have the upper hand. How often do we see monsters parley with characters who have no upper hand at all? That’s an interesting position to explore as we prepare for all hell to break loose sooner or later.