THE ATOLL #1 Big Picture Comics

Book Retort: The Atoll #1

Written by Bill Coffin


Somewhere far off the coast of Australia, Story Helms and Chase Merrick are enjoying the latest leg of a round-the-world cruise on Chase’s private yacht before the two get married. Everybody knows who these two are. Story is an Olympic decathalon winner, and she has supermodel looks to boot. Chase is a multi-billionaire developer of an app that predicts the outcomes of people’s major life decisions. Theirs is he kind of celebrity romance that the public adores, so when Chase’s boat suddenly disappears, presumed lost after an explosion, the world goes into mourning for both of their lost idols.

Only Story didn’t die in the blast. Somehow, she survived and was transported as a prisoner to a floating industrial fishing facility with a huge, fenced off aquatic paddock called the Arena. There, some Russian criminals/psychopaths force people into the blood-laced water with a knife to do combat with Majesty, a pet great white kept in the paddock. Nobody survives a fight with Majesty. The trick is seeing how long it takes Majesty to prevail, much to the entertainment of the various people watching the events on streaming video, presumably around the world.

Story has no idea why she is here. Story has no idea if these Russians are going to chuck her in with Majesty or just make her watch more people get chewed up by the giant fish. For Story Helms, her horror is only just beginning.

Atoll is a great-looking first issue of a five-issue limited series that looks like it will deliver a tight, focused story heavy on atmosphere and thrills. Tim Daniel’s writing is sleek and efficient, much like the shark it features. Drumond and Lafuente’s artwork has a rough, almost painted look that really works for this kind of story. Tight, glossy lines and color wouldn’t service Atoll very well. The look on the pages is one where blood doesn’t seem to be just in the water. It’s in the air, on the skin…everywhere. I can’t wait to bite into the next issue.

Words by Tim Daniel
Art by Ricardo Drumond
Colors by Joana Lafuente
Letters by Adam Wollet
Edits by Bess Pallares
Published by Big Picture Comics

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