Calling Mike Nelson!

Okay, my hoped-for solution did not follow. Diana did not have a full SCUBA setup hidden away for Mark to use. Instead, we are to believe Mark is going to snorkel his way around a cargo ship under way, using his own power. As for the implied value of that camera, it’s hard to judge it based on the drawing; but it certainly didn’t look like anything special. If that camera is designed to work underwater, why isn’t there a lanyard attached to it? Or at least a hand strap?

So, as Diana encourages Mark (panel 4) to start his investigatory swim, we are left with…what, exactly? The carping (excuse the fishing pun) continues, unabaited (no excuse for this forced fishing pun!). Other dialog seems clueless:  “Once we’re close enough…”? Mark, if you were any closer, you could paint that ship’s hull without leaving your own boat!

A few visual points: When I first spotted Mark in panel 1, he reminded me of the ancient Greek swift-footed messenger god, Hermes (i.e. Mercury), with his winged helmet and buff physique. “Oh! Mark is wearing a snorkel,” I realized. That was also when I realized there would be no SCUBA gear and propulsion assistance.

And I was a bit disappointed at the stop-action technique in panel 4, showing Mark cascading into the water after getting pushed. The two “before and after” images, alone, are not enough to create the illusion. A person not aware of what Rivera was intending might suppose there is another person already diving.

Anyway, we should also admit that this whole premise seems screwy. If there are mussels attached to the ship’s hull, it’s not as if the DDG company put them there for some nefarious purpose. And it seems ludicrous to suppose that the ships of other companies do not suffer the same infestation. And let’s not overlook the ballast issue, which is really where these two hapless investigative reporters should be looking. But, this is the story, so we’ll follow it to its watery end.