"Gravetrancers #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by M.L. Miller
Illustrated by James Whynot
Colored by Dee Cunniffe
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 31st, 2018
The strange Malort family living at Burwood Memorial Park is having a very interesting evening. First, a pair of kids comes in looking for their estranged father's grave. Once they uncover some shady practices in the cemetery, the family has to make quick work of them, injecting the pair with psychotropic drugs made from human remains. One of them gets away and is running around nearby. Now a rookie cop is sniffing around looking into a dropped 911 call. You just know that none of this is going to end well.
I compared the family in Gravetrancers to that of Texas Chainsaw Massacre in my review of the first issue. That feeling is even more so in this chapter. Everything about them is strange and unsettling. Writer M.L. Miller pulls no punches in this. The story turns into a skid of crazy and doesn't turn back. Every time I think the book has peaked, it reaches new levels of terror.
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This comes through with all of the Malorts. It's not like the Munsters, where there's one normal one. They're all creepy. You just know you never want to turn your back on them for fear of what they might do when you're not looking.
Artist James Whynot and colorist Dee Cunniffe make for a powerful combination. They create this unmistakable disturbing feeling on each page. Whynot's work is trippy, especially when we check in with Anthony, the guy who escaped from the last issue. He's hopped up on those dead people drugs and he's seeing all kinds of crazy stuff. The panels alternate between a shot of him and then a shot of what he's seeing and it is the most bizarre, insandity-inducing imagery ever. People melt right in front of him, turning into floating piles of eyeballs and liquid flesh.
This leads to one of the most tragic and unnerving images in not just Gravetrancers, but any comic I've read this year. It's a full-page spread that hits hard, really summing up the lengths this book will go to terrify you. There are no limits and we're only in the second issue.
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The appearance of the cop, Elena Veloz, throws a monkey wrench into the plans of the Malorts. They have a contingency plan for dealing with trespassers and almost everything else, including cops, but Elena is not their regular corrupt official they deal with. It complicates matters and it's only going to lead to more violence.
Although they have planned for all these different possibilities, I'm not sure what the end game is for the Malorts. They seem to be conning people with the cemetery and making drugs from corpses, but I don't know if they're selling the stuff or just doing this for fun. I think it would be even scarier if they were doing this out of some sick amusement.
Gravetrancers has quickly become one of the scariest comics of the year and we're only a few weeks into 2018. The terror never lets up for a single moment. It's always there and it's constantly on the rise. The artwork is absolutely incredible and only serves to pull you deeper and deeper into this bizarre world. Don't sleep on this one, folks.