The World Below #1-4 (of 4)
[Dark Horse Comics $2.50 US $3.50 CAN]
Written by Paul Chadwick / Pencilled by Paul Chadwick / Inked by Ron Randall
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The World Below #3The premise of Paul Chadwick’s new series is simple: a team of six people descends into a sinkhole to search for technological marvels for their employer, Charles Hoy. Decades earlier a strange mechanical flyer had flown out of sinkhole on his grandfather’s farm. The technology found within that flyer brought the Hoy family a great deal of wealth and now, a need for more new tech to compete with other computer and electronics firms sends them searching for more.

The team consists of Barclay Hassler, former military man and leader of the expedition team; Gilbert Hoy, hot-headed son of Charles Hoy; Dr. Susan Teter, the group’s medical expert; George Petrosky, technical whiz; Layla Bazo, beautiful yet trouble-making employee of Charles Hoy; and Regina Church, adventuress and tomboy. All have their strengths and their weaknesses. But, like it or not, they’ve got to work together in the mysterious World Below. That’s not as easy as it seems, however. The character of Layla has her own agenda. The team leader, Barclay is dealing with baggage from his last command. And Gilbert Hoy seems to be reacting strangely to something in the World Below. Something that’s affecting his physiology and that he’s desperate to keep from the team.

Each issue’s story is complete within that issue and contains tantalizing glimpses into the character’s backgrounds. But the real star of the story is the world these characters are exploring. Chadwick has populated the World Below with all sorts of bizarre creatures that don’t look anything like the depictions of aliens you usually see in science fiction. A major part of making this world real is due to Ron Randall’s inking. His solid, clean linework brings the characters and environment to life and is a perfect complement to Chadwick’s pencils.

Sales on The World Below weren’t up to expectations so the next installment will be in black and white. I’ve nothing against black and white comics so I’ll definitely be picking up this wonderful new SF series.

If you can’t find this mini-series on the racks order direct from Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 10956 SE Main Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222 or from their web site at