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REVIEW: The Boat Vol. 2

Written by Connor Filsell

The first volume of The Boat was an odd but interesting story. Just in case you didn’t catch our review of the first volume, this is a post apocalyptic tale of a father and son struggling in a disjointed world submerged in water. Whilst its setup was familiar to stories in the genre, it offered a unique relationship and inner conflict clashing with the need to survive and putting others first that was both thought provoking and terrifying all the same. This rather meticulous story of survival and hope continues with full speed in volume 2 as a new setting away from the Boat and unknown character factions come into play for our survivor, who yet remains unnamed and silent throughout his ordeal. Following the structure and style set in the original, it continues to raise questions whilst delivering few answers to this dark tale I am engrossed in, and I can’t wait to see what is next from David Lumsden‘s twisted world.

Time is a cruel mistress for our sole survivor and continues to cause him misfortune. Only, it quickly becomes clear he is not alone in attempting to find a safe haven. The Boat washes into a new land, only to be quickly spotted by Survivors in No Land (a desolate depiction of Scotland after the earth destroying event), but they are not happy to see our survivor as he arrives. A man surviving alone in the world with only a boat to guide him? Something is wrong and he can’t be trusted right? Locked in a cell with another captive, his silence brings an enigma of his journey as they are slowly filled in with flashbacks of his time after losing his father to the insanity of this world as he slowly begins to lose his optimism in finding safety, engulfed by the waters around them. And whilst he sits in darkness locked behind the castle walls, rival survivor factions argue over his fate and it appears to be getting even bleaker…

The art style follows the same as the first, keeping the monotone colour scheme and shading design. But this time we have new architecture, new lighting perspectives and new people to show the reader and they are presented well and integrated into the art style. I particularly enjoy the detailing of the water and castle walls, the darkness given shape and motion. The castle has stood through the dark past of humanity and its future will only get darker from here. That and the sharks pose another threat under the water, as well as just the present dangers from above.

In terms of content there is a large amount to digest, however I can’t help but feel that personally, this volume was lacking in terms of progress to the narrative. It felt at times it only established this new setting to keep attention, it is during a repeated read that you understand the environment, the people, and the truth of survival that was placed.  For instance, we are given this new setting and a new feud between surviving groups. However, we aren’t given any background on these survivors that have gone through their own, personal hell aside for a few names and a supposed deal over territory with one group getting the castle, and the other group, the city below. What happened here? Why this divide between them? And our sole survivor and his boat? just seems to be out of the frying pan and into the fire for him. But why this death sentence for “outsiders”? I know it’s to build tension for the next issue, but Lumsden could have just given us a little bit more of the story to keep people engrossed. Like, the name of our survivor perhaps…

The Boat Vol.2 is a welcome continuation to this story and raises new characters, themes, and questions into the narrative. Whilst I felt that it was a little light on content, what is here is thoughtful and in depth, with a strong narrative continuation.

Have you had the chance to read The Boat? What did you think of it?
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Connor Filsell

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