Reviews, Comics

Creature from the Black Lagoon Lives #1 Review: Into the Deep End

Peer into the eyes of the Creature from the Black Lagoon and discover the true face of a monster is not always what it seems.

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1 Review Cover
Image: Skybound
By: Javier ReyesApr 24, 2024, 9:51 AM

Creature from the Black Lagoon Lives #1

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1 Full Cover

Writer: Dan Watters, Ram V

Artist: Matthew Robers

Publisher: Skybound

Release Date: April 24, 2024

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

Despite some murky areas in the early parts of the issue, Creature from the Black Lagoon Lives #1 ends with a strong enough emotional hook that will make you want to see more of what lurks underneath the surface of this chilling comic book.

Image Comics and Skybound have been cooking up something fierce over the last year. Not only has the Energon Universe been a ton of fun with its Transformers and G.I. Joe titles, but the publisher has also begun its line of comics focused on the Universal Monsters. Billed as a collection of comics that has brought together many of the biggest names in the industry today, the line promises to deliver modern reimaginings of some of film’s most iconic monsters. The first among the titles featured James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds’ haunting take on Dracula. This time around, we’re getting Dan Watters and Ram V’s creative spin on the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Alongside artist Matthew Roberts, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer DC Hopkins, the creative minds of White Noise invite readers to peer deeper into the dark and murky waters of the Black Lagoon and discover what it means to be a monster. Interested to see what awaits below the surface? Then read on for my review of Creature from the Black Lagoon Lives #1!


Reporter Kate Marsden is in Peru in search of an elusive serial killer named Collier. While other reporters would not risk their lives for such a dangerous story, Kate has a vendetta against Collier that runs deeper than most. If she can’t find the man who nearly took her life, then she’s afraid she may never be able to live past the trauma he caused. But when she finds herself deep within the Amazon forest following a flimsy lead, she faces a mysterious monster that could either be a friend or foe.

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1 - girl in the middle of a forestImage: Skybound


The comic opens with a foreboding monologue about the embrace of death, setting the tone for the rest of the issue. Knowing that it’s told from the perspective of the comic’s protagonist, Kate, you can immediately piece together that she is battling serious demons. It’s from that ominous start that the story begins to follow her desperate attempts to find the person who she believes to be the root cause of her trauma. The further you read through the comic, it becomes clearer that Kate’s mental state is crumbling as she deals with drug addiction, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts. But as much as this issue introduces readers to Kate and her emotional struggles, there is a sense that there is still so much to uncover beyond what’s shown on the surface. With this being just the beginning of her story, I’m intrigued to explore more about her, her past, and what lies beneath. 

Now, with all this talk about Kate, you might wonder: How does the Creature from the Black Lagoon fit into this woman’s tragic tale? Interestingly enough, the iconic monster plays a very subdued role for most of the issue, save for a few hints about its presence within the town. It’s only during the issue’s incredible closing stretch that we see the monster emerge from the darkness, in a sequence that ties beautifully to the story’s dark opening. So while the issue is not the most exciting introduction, for the most part, it ends with a strong cliffhanger that will make you want to see what more the story has to offer. Dan Watters and Ram V are no strangers to putting together deeply personal, slow-burn stories that pay off in satisfying ways. Just check out what they’re doing with The One Hand and The Six Fingers and you’ll see what I mean. Even though this issue takes some time to get the ball rolling, it sets up the pieces to explore more of Kate’s story and her connection with the Creature.

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1 - woman waking up from sleep and preparing for workImage: Skybound

However, the most surprising aspect of this comic is the fantastic art by Matthew Roberts, Dave Stewart, and DC Hopkins. There’s a unique charm in how Roberts illustrates facial expressions that make characters stand out and look more animated, regardless of the scene’s mood. The anguished and tired look you often see on Kate’s face helps emphasize how she has gone through so much to reach the point she is at in the story. Then, as I mentioned earlier, the final pages of the comic are a masterful display of visual storytelling. The details put into the scenery and coloring of the scene all come together for a fantastic introduction to the series’ monstrous star.

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1 - woman and man talkingImage: Skybound

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, I came into this comic as a blank slate. Because I have no personal attachment to the Creature from the Black Lagoon or the Universal Monsters as a whole, I kept myself open to experiencing a unique story with unbiased eyes. So, even though the middle of this debut issue leaves plenty to be desired, it ends with a strong emotional hook that ties everything together. As far as modern reimaginings of classic characters go, it sets the stage for an emotional story to unfold through the lens of a character who must deal with all kinds of monsters lurking in the darkness. 

Why You Should Read Creature from the Black Lagoon Lives

  • Matthew Roberts’ expressive art style adds plenty of personality to the different characters. 
  • The story sets up the pieces for a dark and emotional journey to play out throughout the series.
  • It’s easy to trust Dan Watters and Ram V to deliver an engrossing, slow-burn series. 

TAGGED: Skybound
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