Graphic Novel Review: Treadwater Is The Total PackageOctober 7, 2015
One of the things that struck me about Treadwater was although the story and themes might sound familiar it is written, drawn and laid out in a way that seems fresh and new. This in itself is a victory and if this first graphic novel is any indication they have captured something unique and wonderful.
The future that exists on these pages is one in chaos. The economy is in ruins, crime is on the rise, and terrorism is popping up everywhere which leads to the governments from many different countries not trusting anyone else let alone those who reside inside their own borders. This leads to a privately funded team of specialists to be put together known as Treadwater to try and save the planet before it implodes on itself.
Germany is the first country to step forward and use its military, led by General Kirklau, in both an aggressive stance and as a measure to protect its borders. A successful mission has Germany stealing nuclear weapons from France and freezing the other nations in fear as no one wants to retaliate and be blamed for starting a war.
This is where Treadwater comes in.
As I mentioned earlier, these are not really new story ideas in terms of collapsing governments and privately funded aide and yet they come across as just that, to this reader anyways. The story, co-written by Morgan Rosenblum and Don Macnab-Stark, has many different threads tied into this simple idea and their writing style allows the story to run smoothly while very entertaining at the same time. It was also a great idea to introduce a crime syndicate, in this case called the Children of Chaos, as it that just adds another great element to the overall story.
The Treadwater team is also an interesting group and almost a separate story all by themselves. Each member has their own reasons as to why they are part of this team and they are far from being perfect, especially in terms of where they are mentally. At times you wonder if this is really the right group of people you want together to try and save the world.
The artwork done by Ray Dillion is also very well done. It flows very well and is a great companion to the story. Interesting and dark panels that are done in a way that doesn’t try and overwhelm the reader but instead make them focus and drag them deeper into the story. My only complaint would be that I would have liked to see a little more emotion out of some of the characters faces.
Creator Morgan Rosenblum has created a very interesting world that allows him the luxury of moving in many different directions. He obviously has a long range master plan and it shows as Treadwater reads as something more than a simple and straightforward graphic novel. There is depth here along with a boat load of potential for the future and that is rare in this format. I believe the biggest compliment I can give Treadwater is that reading it feels real. I felt like I could connect with some of the characters on a real level and that really helped me get into the story.
Without a doubt, this was one of the best graphic novels I have read in a long time. Superb story, excellent art and characters you can both love and hate, Treadwater is something I highly recommend you pick up and experience yourself. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Four and a half stars out of five