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Bioshock meets Stargate in Deep Beyond #4: ADVANCE REVIEW

Writers: Miaka Andolfo and David Goy, Artist: Andrea Broccardo, Colourist: Barbara Nosenzo.

Paul, Jolene, and Kevin find themselves exactly where they wanted to be, if only by chance. Paul, now suffering from the infection, is trying to patch himself up and diagnose how long he has left. While they get their bearings, before long they find out they aren’t alone. Not only are there pods inside the installation, but there are armed soldiers sent by President Eve. On top of that, there’s a killer loose on the station that won’t stop until all life is eradicated.

Deep Beyond has been a very strange series so far. We were overloaded with information in the first issue, and I think it’s been trying to find a balance ever since. I’m pleased to say that we have more of a balanced approach here. We open with a bit of backstory as to how this worldwide catastrophe happened, before we jump into the best title card so far. Then it’s onward to the story of our “heroes.”

I have been very critical of the writing so far, due to it being such a great concept for a series. So to overload people with information, I felt would end up putting people off. This was the first book where I felt that the pace was good and it delivered enough information on past events, but also had enough action and even some emotional moments which I wasn’t expecting. However, this is also the first issue in the series that made me question writing decisions from a plot point of view. Now this could be my fault for wanting a series that was more about the ocean and in a similar vein to Bioshock, but what we’ve now got is portals that are reminiscent of Stargate. I still hope that whatever is coming in the next few issues, we can still maintain an underwater theme, as I feel that is where the art is at its strongest.

Before I move onto art, I would like to address one of my pet peeves when it comes to radios. The term “over” means I’m passing the priority over to you, so I will now shut up and listen. Using the term “out” means I’m moving away from the radio and the conversation is over. So when I see them combined I get frustrated, as this seems like lack of knowledge.

Moving onto art, one of the biggest complaints I had about the series, was that there wasn’t enough underwater panels. That changed with this issue, which I loved, as I really feel that Andrea Broccardo’s art and Barbara Nosenzo’s colours are the best with those underwater scenes.

I’m hoping that with the change in plot, we will be getting more underwater panels to showcase the talents on display. To me, it’s what the series has been missing, so I loved seeing more of it.

Although I’m concerned about the direction of the book, I’m still enjoying it overall. This issue has a great balance of history with present day action, and emotional sentiment mixed in. If the creative team can continue with this momentum and then build on the underwater scenes, this could end up being a great book, with serious potential for spin-offs and a prequel series, which as long as they are done well, I think could really help with the world building. Despite a rocky start to the series, I would highly recommend it because of the detail of history and the beautiful artwork for the underwater scenes.

Deep Beyond issue 4 will be released on 5th May from your local comic shop as well as comixology

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