Joe Hill and Stuart Immonen’s amazing Plunge series comes to an end this week, wrapping up one of the most unique and interesting horror stories I’ve ever read. The series has integrated dark and ancient evil with math in a way that feels realistic, but deeply dark and difficult to understand in a creepy way. In the finale, can the heroes stop to stay alive and save the world? No small task, that’s for sure.
This issue opens up the monster visuals in a big way–something I’ve been wishing more of throughout the series–and Stuart Immonen delivers. Along with cover artist Dave Stewart, the two reveal the beast that the zombie monsters wanted to unleash the last issue. It’s big, epic, and bizarre. There’s also an interesting effect of the sky being torn open that’s quite cool, further cementing the fact that this series is adding to the horror genre. Monsters aren’t scary without the human element, though, and Immonen nails the reactions and utter fear in the characters’ eyes. The monster aside, there’s a gripping scene with the characters being drowned by the tide that ramps up the tension, too.
That latter element of the tide is an example of how Hill doesn’t forget about who these characters are and why this is a scary situation. Being on the water for a profession makes drowning a very real element that enhances the moment for them. It also creates an immediate danger that they can attempt to escape, which is an impossibility given the power and size of the monster revealed in the issue. That plays with expectations in a fun way.
Expectations are tested in this issue, too, and Hill capitalizes on a Russian submarine being notified in an earlier issue. I won’t spoil it, but its inclusion is goofy, fun, and helps increase the danger at hand. It all amounts to a build-up to the conclusion that’ll have you second-guessing what can happen next.
Between the monsters, the tide drowning our favorite characters, and saving the world, the book does drag here and there, with some scenes that utilize a lot of dialogue. It’s an element that slowed down the first issue for me and it slows down this issue as well. It serves a purpose, but I found it killed the momentum a bit.
Plunge #6 is a great final issue that surprises, offers resolutions, and even has a solid foundation for future stories to be told. All told, this series has been one of the best horror stories I’ve read in some time, maximizing the human element, keeping readers on their toes, and offering a monster that feels entirely unique.