My 27th book this year is the second volume in Rick Remender’s incredible graphic novel Low. Again I was astounded and delighted by the story of hope that Remender continues to weave in this futuristic and bleak setting. Greg Tocchini’s art, Dave McCaig’s colors, and Rus Wooton’s lettering all continue to be great. This volume had fewer amazing splash pages and a more intricate panel layout, but the elements combine to tell a masterful tale.
Volume two, entitled Before the Dawn Burns Us, is shorter than volume one (a four issue story arc instead of six issues). It advances the story of Stel and her plight to find a probe that may point the way to renewed hope for what’s left of humanity. In this volume Remender tells us of Stel’s daughters Tajo and Della and the compromises and pains they have endured to stay alive after being torn from their parents; this tale interweaves with Stel’s own struggles against looming despair and the broken allies who help her hold on to hope – hope not just for other people but for herself and what she can achieve. The volume ends with a string of amazing quotes from Stel that inspire my own hope to make a better world and to start over instead of giving in. When volume three is released in October I’m confident I’ll be picking it up. In Low Remender makes clear that in truth it’s not that simple to hold on to hope, but it’s still the only way to honor those who’ve come before us and to rise above our own brokenness and suffering.