Adrienne Fox

Comic Review: Graveyard Shift #1

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Graveyard Shift #1 delivers all the basics of a great vampire tale: fangs, blood, and conversion of humans. Jump in now and see where Jay Faerber and Fran Bueno take the story from a solid start in the first issue.


Graveyard Shift #1

Graveyard Shift #1 cover via Image Comics

Graveyard Shift #1

Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Fran Bueno
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Image Comics
Release date: December 24, 2014

Try out Graveyard Shift #1 (of 4).

Graveyard Shift #1 opens with a police raid goes awry. The cops fail to arrest their suspect. But, they do manage to make an enemy of the local vampires. Each cop involved in the raid is picked off by the vamps in a single night—all except one. Cue Liam, the surviving cop, to step into the vampire hunter role after someone close to him is turned.

In recent years, vampire lore has been twisted and watered down to suit various creators doing the vampire thing. As a result, vamps have taken a few big, discrediting, hits the past few years. They have been softened and often toyed with to the point that anything goes in vampire mythos. Really it is a shame because vampires are terrifying predators and should stay that way (in my opinion).

Faerber and Bueno appear to be taking the predator angle seriously. The representation of the vamps is more in line with Lost Boys and Blade than the romantic images of Twilight or The Vampire Diaries. I hope it continues in this trajectory. However, there is an element of romance to Graveyard Shift for sure. The couples-that-are-crime-fighters trope has been successful (most recently in Castle), but it is easy to get it wrong too (see Mulder and Scully). Hopefully, the romance won’t get in the way of creating cool vampires.

The set up in Graveyard Shift #1 is a “typical” plot for a hunt-down-vamps-in-revenge-mode-story. I don’t see this as a problem since some great tales have started off with a premise the reader (or viewer) is familiar. Now, the creators’ challenge will be to show us something new without changing the vampire rules too much.

If you are into the whole “vampire thing,” as I am, you should try Graveyard Shift. Issue #2 should get the rest of the arc going. I hope it becomes a wild, and bloody, read.

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