Far, far in the future, the sun has expanded in size, rendering the land on Earth too hot for humanity to survive there. Underwater cities were constructed, but this is a stopgap solution, and so probes were sent out into the galaxy to try to find somewhere else capable of supporting human life.
In one city, Salus, lives the Caine family: father Johl, mother Stel, and the children, Della, Marik, and Tajo. They're generally happy, although life is no longer easy. But on a routine hunting trip outside the city, they are attacked by pirates known as "Scurvies." Johl is killed and Della and Tajo are abducted, leaving Stel to raise Marik and hope, always hope, that someday she might see her daughters again, and that they all might find some way to survive. And then, years later, one of the probes returns to Earth and might, just might, have brought back good news.
Low is a comic series from Image Comics, written by Rick Remender and drawn by Greg Tocchini. It started publication in 2014; there's been a fair amount of Schedule Slip, but Remender expects to finish up the series in 2020.
This comic provides examples of:
- After the End: The story begins after the sun has grown so large that the surface of Earth has become too hot to be habitable. What's left of humanity has retreated to cities beneath the ocean to survive.
- Beast Man: Various types, including insect, shark, and rodent.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Many of the inhabitants of the surface world at this point are massive insects and arachnids.
- Big Damn Heroes: Tajo shows up in Voldin just in time to save Della from a hit squad. It's later subverted when Della shows up in the helm suit just as Lena is about to cut out Tajo's eye. She tells Tajo to save herself, then blows a hole in the side of their submarine and leaves.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lena, who worms her way into Della's and Tajo's confidence by claiming she was Marik's wife, then tries to kill both of them and reveals she's Roln's daughter.
- Boom, Headshot!: One of the ministers in Voldin gets his head blown off for even suggesting that the returned probe might have brought back good news.
- Crapsack World: Humanity has been forced to live under the sea for thousands of years, and technology, society, and resources are close to the breaking point. And life on land is, if anything, even more chaotic and dangerous.
- Deadly Nosebleed: Stel bleeds from her nose and ears after getting hit with a blast of radiation from a bizarre moth-like creature on the surface world.
- Determinator: Stel never, ever gives up. Marik gets in on the act, too.
- Eye Scream: Roln, a Scurvy, cuts out Johl's eye because the eye is needed to activate the helm suit. Later on he does the same thing to Marik, and Lena tries to do it to Tajo.
- Giant Enemy Crab: In Poluma there are "gladiator games" that consist of throwing people into a huge tank where a massive crab promptly rips them apart.
- Gorn: The helm suit is capable of slicing multiple people to pieces in an instant.
- Hero Antagonist: Lieutenant Wesal has been working for years within the government of Voldin, trying to preserve beauty and culture and preparing for the day when he could overthrow this truly monstrous fascist regime. Dvonyen, an agent of that regime and a murderer, is a protagonist by virtue of being one of the Caines, but theres really no reason at all to view Wesal as a bad guy.
- High-Altitude Interrogation: Minister Dvonyen does this to someone while investigating who might have leaked word of the returned probe.
- Horse of a Different Color: On the surface large, chocobo-like birds are used as mounts.
- Mechanical Horse: Minister Dvonyen has a mechanical polar bear she rides around.
- Mercy Kill: Minister Dvonyen (a.k.a Della Caine) kills her lover, Kelli, because she was creating unauthorized works of art and would be tortured to death if she was caught. (Though Kelli clearly suspects Dvonyen is only doing it to save herself, and given some of Dvonyen's other actions this is probably true.)
- Mushroom Samba: "Cream" is a drug that causes hallucinations; it seems to be typically used by the people of Salus to forget about their increasingly hopeless lives.
- My Greatest Failure: Zem Gotir was, by his own admission, a monster, a raping, murdering pirate in Roln's fleet, but his worst crime was selling his wife and child into slavery to cover his gambling debts. Stel and Mertali can hardly even look at him after he reveals that.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Vampire variety.
- Pineapple Surprise: Dvonyen manages to pull the pin from a grenade on the belt of one of the soldiers sent to kill her. The explosion kills him and several others, but in order to escape it herself she is forced to jump down the middle of a stairwell, severely injuring her.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Zem gets so annoyed at Stel nagging him about whether he'll be able to fix a transport that he finally says, "Shut. Up."
- Ruthless Modern Pirates: The "Scurvies" are a truly despicable lot and pose a great danger to civilized people.
- Sea Monster: There are some strange, strange things in the depths of the ocean by now.
- Shark Man: Seen in Poluma, one of the underwater cities.
- Thoughtcrime: In the city of Voldin, optimism is a crime punishable by instant death.
- Underwater City: Where humans have to live now.
- Vapor Wear: Dvonyen wears a jacket that shows Absolute Cleavage. When it gets torn away during a fight, it's revealed that the remaining garment on her upper body covers her arms and abdomen but leaves her breasts bare.
- While Rome Burns: The ruling council of Salus spends their time in debauched partying, taking Cream and having sex, because they believe there's no hope.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Stel Caine's defining character trait is her unshakable belief that another inhabitable planet will be discovered and humanity will survive.
- Wolverine Claws: Some of the underwater survival suits have these.
- Wretched Hive: Poluma, one of the cities, is full of Scurvies, and lacks even what passes for law and government in places like Voldin and Salus.
- You Killed My Father: Lena hates Tajo for killing Roln, her father.