From Jay Faerber and Fran Beuno comes a new series from Image about love, death and vampires. This issue concerns Liam, a cop thrust into an unimaginable battle against the undead during a routine bust early one morning. Things quickly spiral out of control as they are faced with an enemy that they cannot defeat which then has ramifications for Liam and his supporting cast of characters.
Faerber presents a great tale here, it is nothing that you haven’t seen before and this is something that he address’ in the back matter of the book explaining that this book was conceived well before series such as True Blood or Twilight came to the fore in pop culture. It instead focus’ on presenting a tightly scripted character piece where throughout this entire issue it is clear to see the internal battle that Liam is facing in trying to deal with the situation he is forced into and this provides Faerber the opportunity to provide plenty of character moments that allow us to really see what Liam is all about and go on his journey with him.
A lot of ground is covered in this issue however; nothing feels forced or rushed, allowing each scene to play out to its natural conclusion providing plenty of action sequences to keep even the most blood thirsty maniac at bay, whilst setting up this world and providing that initial hook. Whilst not a great deal is revealed about the vampires that populate it, enough is seen to show them as a credible threat to the humans of this world.
Bueno’s art is so detailed and expressive in this book, equally at home with the quieter character moments and the big action set pieces, allowing Faerber’s story to really shine. Particular attention in this book must be paid to the colouring, whilst each page is highly detailed the choice of muted browns, yellows and greys gives this book a very oppressive feel. You get the sense whilst reading the first few panels that something horrifying is lurking just beyond what you can see.
Graveyard Shift overall doesn’t break any new ground; however, it provides a tightly scripted beautifully drawn book that draws you into its dark twisted world. There are clearly some twists and turns along the way that the creative team have in store for this book and for anyone that this series resonates with and sticks with will get a great payoff in futures issues.