The Ghost Ship’s Call: ‘Plunge #1’ Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
A tsunami hits Attu Island in United States territory as well as Kamtsjatka in Russia. Afterwards, Attu Island receives an automated distress signal from the Derleth, an oil tanker that went missing some 40 years before. Rococo, the company that owned the Derleth, hires an Alaska-based salvaging company under the name Carpenter to find and investigate the wreckage of the Derleth. There’s one catch: the Derleth is in Russian waters, so Carpenter’s expedition wouldn’t be strictly legal. Despite this, Rococo convinces the Carpenter family, as well as some add-ons, to go hunting for the Derleth.

Plunge #1 cover by Jeremy Wilson
Plunge #1 cover by Jeremy Wilson

Plunge #1 sets up an oceanic mystery. A ship that’s been missing for 40 years makes a sudden reappearance and the giant oil conglomerate that owns the ship contracts its salvaging out to a small, family-owned salvaging company. 
This issue is all setup, with very little of the crucial horror showing up. Much of the book is made up of David Lacome, the representative of Rococo, trying to convince Captain Gage Carpenter to take his crew, aka his brothers, out to search for the Derleth. The book is dialogue-heavy as a consequence. 
That said, this section does give plenty of personality to Gage and his brothers. They are three very different men and Gage in particular is a little unhinged.
We also meet Moriah, a marine biologist who is rolled into this salvaging expedition. She’s a lively and enjoyable character as well.
Plunge #1 art by Stuart Immonen, Dave Stewart, and letterer Deron Bennett
Plunge #1 art by Stuart Immonen, Dave Stewart, and letterer Deron Bennett

Stuart Immonen provides the visual work for the title and he hasn’t lost his touch one bit. His work is distinct, well-detailed, and sleek. The book looks damn good under his penciling and he’s backed up well by color artist Dave Stewart. Both artists succeed in drawing out the unnerving nature of the narrative in visual form too.
Plunge #1 is a strong, if somewhat slow, start for the final DC Hill House title. We are presented with a maritime mystery accompanied by ominous signs and a ragtag scavenging crew dedicated to exploring the heart of it all. It’s a solid read and earns a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Plunge #1 comes to us from writer Joe Hill, artist Stuart Immonen, color artist Dave Stewart, letterer Deron Bennett, cover artist Jeremy Wilson, variant cover artist Gary Frank with Brad Anderson, and Sea Dogs chapter by Joe Hill, Dan McDaid, John Kalisz, and Wes Abbott.
Final Score: 7.5/10

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