In the new hardcover release of Rock Bottom we meet Thomas Dare, a man with a very unique problem. Some men are said to have hearts of stone, but Dare is taking it to another extreme. As his body slowly transforms into solid rock, Thomas Dare has to make his peace with the world and the one’s that he cares about before he becomes a living statue.
Written by Joe Casey, this story takes a hard left from other books in the comic book medium. Instead of becoming a superhero (though he does do a heroic feat), it’s more about the metaphor for a man turning to stone and dying early in life. Dare is a character who isn’t completely likable at first, but he’s incredibly real. He’s the type of person you’d see on the subway or sit next to in a movie theater.
The art by Charlie Adlard is a bit of a strange touch, but it works for the collection. The art style is black and white, but also very minimalist. There’s some tones added to Dare when he starts becoming more and more afflicted with his unique medical condition, but overall it keeps it barebones. This gives the graphic novel an independent movie vibe that works well for the pacing and tone of the story.
This story is far from any action adventure tale about a man with rock-covered skin. It’s a very emotional story about a man who has to come to terms with a genetic disease and the state of the world as he leaves it. It’s the perfect read for people who enjoy slice-of-life comics with small, surprising science fiction twists or aspects. The new hardcover edition is worth the purchase and would be a great addition to anyone’s graphic novel collection.