The San Andres Fault has angrily woken from its slumber to wreak havoc upon the state of California. As it rumbles to life, in Scout Comics new offering Graveland #1, it has also released ancient giants who are intent on destroying anything that is left standing. San Diego is gone. San Francisco, is next, and Los Angeles is the subsequent battlefield. A clandestine government program, which is intent on giving people super human strength to fight these giants, is our only line of defense to stop the angry behemoths.
Massimo Rosi (writer) seems to have a brilliant idea for what could be an epic story about humanity trying to stave off extinction at the hands of unheard of beasts. I was, however left underwhelmed by the execution of this first issue. I don’t see this as a weakness of the story, but one more of editing. There is so much going on in this book that it comes across as choppy and underdeveloped. Characters appear, and seem important, but we don’t know why. It feels as if three issues of the comic were condensed into 24 pages. I would really like to know more about secret programs run by Dr. Ron Wright, and how he was able to select his test subjects. Instead, I feel that I’ve been dropped into the middle of the third act of a three-act play.
Artistically, Marco Pagnotta (Colors) does a masterful job of bringing each page to life. The art of Gabriel Ibarra Nunez however, after page 12 comes across as choppy and chaotic. It’s difficult to determine what each panel wants you to focus on, and with the distorted figures that we are presented with, it is difficult to pull any emotion from these pages.
Graveland seems like it can be an amazing series. The concept is solid and there is ample opportunity for tense battles and character development. If the creators are given an opportunity to slow down and develop the story, I could see this as a book that is talked about for a long time. I’m intrigued enough to want to read the next issue. (Very nice cliff hanger ending to this issue) I do hope that we are given an opportunity to learn more about how these giants came to be released, and the characters who are tasked to stop them. Without further development, this will sadly be a missed opportunity for a great idea.
(W) Massimo Rosi (A/CA)
Publisher: Scout Comics