REVIEW: Gravedigger #1

Writer: Christopher Mills
Artist Name: Rick Burchett
Publisher: Action Lab
Release Date: 07/15/2015

Gravedigger follows the mis-adventures of one Digger McCrae, who for those that didn’t catch the 2004 The Scavenger, is a professional thief.

This follow-up issue starts with McCrae hanging out in Florida up to his nether regions in big bad gangster daughter.  Whilst out on the town, he alienates, what seems to be either an old flame or an unrequited love and lo and behold, it’s Cluedo time with the babe, in the bedroom killed by being shot.  It’s no surprise that McCrae is soon on the run from said big bad gangster and then on the run into the arms of another playmate.

This book is definitely not for the faint hearted.  The book comes with a “mature reader” tag due to the level of violence and sex that is virulent throughout the story.  However, it is clear that McCrae is not a good guy.  Sure, there are badder guys and that seems to be the only redeeming factor in his character.  Every character has an agenda and its is quite fun to see someone like McCrae who seems to have it altogether be at the mercy of a number of different foibles.

The book is written by Christopher Mills, who drafted the original pitch for a defunct publisher.  Mills is clearly fond of his character, to see it through a variety of changes to finally it seeing McCrae back in print.  The book has a certain feel and will appeal to fans of films such as Pulp Fiction or any James Bond movie and books such as Sin City.  Art is brought to you by Rich Burchett who surprised me with the high quality of work, as I had mainly seen his work previously in The Batman Adventures.  Whether it’s a the cartoon style or this hard-boiled style, you can’t help but see the quality of the work, even if at times, it looks like McCrae is based on photo stills of Lee Marvin.

The film noir is currently a popular genre.  What I like about this book, is that some of the elements are familiar giving it a kind of gum-shoe quality, but there is enough variety influences to make this read fun and engaging.  Issue two promises to conclude this story with issue three a reprint of the original Scavenger book for a whole new audience.

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