I loved everything about The Underfoot series. The concept of hamster mercenaries is incredibly intriguing, and the story is so much more. There’s a real depth to the writing, showing us the struggles of surviving in a big world when you’re so small. Everything feels epic, from the dialogue to the battles to the consequences of each action. It’s a great mix of action-adventure, science fiction, and fantasy. We have the thrill of the chase as the squad tries to save the homes of their fellow creatures. There’s the deeply scientific origin story, filled in by supporting materials scattered between issues. Finally, the villains of the story fit that fantasy expectation. True, the dragons are eagles and sea monsters are fish, but it feels epic nonetheless.
The Underfoot Volume 1: The Mighty Deep
Written by Ben Fisher, Emily S. Whitten
Art by Michelle Nguyen
I was impressed by the complexity of the art style. It would be easy to write off the hamster design, making every creature the same and focusing instead on their natural surroundings. These artists have done a fabulous job incorporating the many breeds of hamsters, creating scenes filled with brilliantly minute details. The physique and style of each hamster mirrors their persona, helping the reader connect with these marvels of human science. It would be easy to laugh away hamsters as silly characters, but the art, paired with strong writing, makes that impossible. The comic book styling of the fight scenes also brought up a nostalgia that connected well with the action.
Overall, The Underfoot series combines a compelling story with intricate artwork to present a band of warriors who are as varied as they are unified. Emotions run the gamut from adrenaline-fueled excitement to tender moments of sadness but, in the end, the badass brigade of hamsters triumphs.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.