Sea of Sorrows #1 – Review

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Sea of Sorrows starts with a Terrific First Issue

Written by Rich Douek, Sea of Sorrows #1 is the beginning of a new historical horror series from IDW. After the Great War, the North Atlantic is full of treasures just waiting for salvagers to seek out. But tensions build as everyone on the crew seems ready to betray each other, and worse — something besides a sunken submarine lurks beneath their ship.

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Sea of Sorrows is True Terror

Douek does an incredible job with this story. Without the characters being fully fleshed out, we still get a good sense of their personality as well as their motivations. There is a tainted feeling to many of them, mostly because we witness the fights, suggested murders, and everything else that gives a sense that most of this crew isn’t exactly wholesome. Except for one crew member who seems to acknowledge the horrors of his past and longs mostly for the quiet of the ocean floor.

There’s a beautiful scene in which he talks about the monsters of the world that are human, including the things he’s done, that contrasts so well with the sea creature just below their ship, and the man who survived it’s attack.

Sea of Sorrows #1 - Review

Sea of Sorrows Art

But a strong script isn’t enough to bring a story like this to life. Alex Cormack brings a ton of artistic talent to the table with this issue, giving us something spectacular to look at as we read. For example, the art in the under water scenes is so visually interesting and unique. Everything is mostly outlined black against a black background, unless the light is close enough to really illuminate further. It’s very reminiscent of scratchboard art, and that really adds to the issue. This ‘scratchboard’ style brings dread to the story, when things emerge from the blackness of the ocean floor, leaving us just as in the dark as to what’s coming as the character.

Beyond just how incredible the under water scenes are, Alex really brings to life some scenes gorgeously with color. The flashbacks of war heavily cast in reds, mirroring the red of the flare on the ship and triggering the memories. The beautiful, harsh shadows cast from the sun beating down on the crew and the ship in the daylight, and the greenish nighttime glow of the moon reflecting light off the sea. Everything is really something to take in and appreciate from start to finish.

This truly is a fantastic first issue, full of terror, and brought to life by an incredible team – Rich Douek, Alex Cornack, and letterer Justin Birch – who really adds to the depth of the story with the great lettering work done. If you enjoy horror with a historic feel, the monsters darkest depths of the ocean, and the tensions between humans in a time of crisis – then this is definitely a book for you. Issue 1 is available now.

Sea of Sorrows #1 - Review 1

Engage with the Creators

Rich Douek – Twitter | Website

Alex Cormack – Twitter

Justin Birch – Twitter | Website


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