‘Deep sea adventure with a horrific twist! From the creative team behind last year’s hit horror series, Road of Bones, comes an all-new tale of bone-chilling terror!
In the aftermath of the Great War, the North Atlantic is ripe for plunder by independent salvage crews. When a former naval officer hires the SS Vagabond, he leads the ship to a sunken U-boat, and a fortune in gold. Tensions mount as the crew prepares to double cross each other, but the darkness of the ocean floor holds deeper terrors than any of them have bargained for!’
The publisher’s blurb sums this one up pretty nicely. In Sea of Sorrows #1, the SS Vagabond is anchored with a diver on the seafloor, searching for a WWI U-boat that may be loaded with a bunch of Imperial German gold. Tension is high on the deck. There’s the stress of waiting to see if they’re actually onto something here, but the crew is making alliances and sorting out exactly who on board they’ll need to kill in order to make it home. No honor among thieves and all that.
There are two settings in horror that are almost always effective for me. Space and the ocean. Absolute darkness. Tight confines. Nowhere to run. Complete dependence on equipment. Space travel is an abstract concept, but the ocean I get. The deep sea is probably my favorite setting, because it scares the shit out of me before I even get to the rest of the setup.
Rich Douek sets this thing up beautifully. There are two independent stories unfolding, the one topside, and the one in the deep. Both are equally fascinating at this point. Characters get established quickly and efficiently. Bunch of pirates, really, with highly specialized skills and a ruthless aggression that should lead to some really entertaining interactions. And probably some really entertaining murder.
Art by Alex Cormack is perfect for this story. Right from that opening sequence, there’s a rough, gritty quality that sets the tone for the whole rest of the book. It fits the period, it fits the genre, it just… fits.
I’m usually very critical of first chapters, especially in limited series like this one. This is just about as perfect a first chapter as I’ve seen. The characters and conflict are introduced and established without a ton of clunky exposition. The art is dark and moody. The pacing is on point. Without dipping too far into spoiler territory, the monster is fantastic, and its introduction is handled well. I’m into it. Let’s kick this pig.
Sea of Sorrows #1, IDW Publishing, 18 November 2020. Written by Rich Douek, art/color by Alex Cormack with color assistance by Mark Mullaney, letters by Justin Birch.
In the aftermath of the Great War, the North Atlantic is ripe for plunder by independent salvage crews. When a former naval officer hires the SS Vagabond, he leads the ship to a sunken U-boat, and a fortune in gold. Tensions mount as the crew prepares to double cross each other, but the darkness of the ocean floor holds deeper terrors than any of them have bargained for!