We saw the digital release of The Bunker #1 way back in August of ’13. The fans and the press received it very well (to say the least), even our own Ed Gambichler commented that the first issue “… starts off strong and grabs the reader by the throat.” (The Bunker #1 – Filled with Suspense & Beautiful Art).
Well before anyone could blink twice Oni Press had signed on to publish The Bunker. (Oni Press Is Breaking The Digital Mold With The Bunker #1 – 02/14). This was a welcome decision by Oni. We were constantly seeing great (and sometimes not so great) books find second life in digital. Add to that the ever-increasing number of publishers eschewing paper release all together in favor of digital, I was starting to wonder if the theories about the death of the printed comic were coming true.
Issue #1 of The Bunker sold an estimated 10,378 copies*. That put it just below the middle of the pack of the top 300 for the month. Pretty respectable for a non big 3 book.
Enough about the series and it’s publication history, let’s get on with the review! I love sci-fi and I dig a good time-travel story so I went in with more than a little trepidation (I’m always leery of books that everyone raves about).
The story so far…
“…Grady and his four friends Billy, Heidi, Daniel and his girlfriend Natasha decide to commemorate their friendship by creating a time capsule in the middle of the Angeles National Forest. When Grady starts to break ground, however, his shovel hits something metal in the dirt. That something turns out to be a hatch to an underground bunker. A hatch that, impossibly enough, has the group’s names (with the exception of one member) printed on it. And, unlike their intended time capsule, this bunker is not filled with warm mementos of their past but files that reveal a dark glimpse into their roles as future architects of a worldwide cataclysmic event. An event that Grady must allow to play out…in order to save the world.” -Ed Gambichler Aug 5, 2013
So in issue two we join Grady in the present, as events start to unfold. Events that he’s being told he has to be involved in.
I love the story-telling. The beats are simple, yet the grab you the right way immediately. The use of washed out, muted colors lends to the sort of shakiness of this kind of story. Is this all really happening? Is someone guiding them all towards the future? And what future is this “guidance” helping to preserve?
After making my way through issue two (twice) I knew I needn’t have worried. The rave reviews were spot on, Joshua Fialkov has crafted a deft tale. And he’s not holding it back. The twist in this issue is worthy of the series climax, and we get it in issue two? If he can keep up this kind of story-telling I’m in for the whole ride.
The Bunker gets 4 letters from the ether out of 5!
The Bunker #2
Writer: Fialkov, Joshua Hale
Artist: Infurnari, Joe
Cover Artist: Infurnari, Joe
On Sale: March 26, 2014
Publisher: Oni Press
Diamond Id: JAN141259
*Sales data from ICv2.com Top 300 Comics Actual–February 2014