"Gravetrancers #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by M.L. Miller
Illustrated by James Michael Whynot
Colored by Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Jim Campbell
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 25th, 2018
Maribel has been having a bit of a rough time as of late. She was a recovering addict who went to visit her father's grave with her brother and that set of a series of events that led to an insane and horrific battle at the cemetery where she was dosed with a scary new drug made from corpses. Now she's in a mental institution trying to piece her life back together.
Gravetrancers was already a non-stop ride through Crazytown. This final issue takes the story in some unexpected directions that ultimately bring closure to this chapter while also leaving the door wide open to continue. Writer M.L. Miller definitely keeps you on your toes with this comic.
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This issue begins with Maribel in the hospital, struggling to cope with all of the trauma she's been through. It's enough to shatter anyone's mind and she was already in a fragile state to begin with. The drug haunts her even after it's left her system. This causes her to have visions of unsettling monsters, both from her own memories and other abominations from her imagination.
This is where artist James Michael Whynot flourishes. The visuals on display in Gravetrancers #4 are unlike anything else you'll see on comic stands today. Dee Cunniffe's colors add to them to create this stunning array of trippy and frightening images. These are the kinds of shots that you can spend so much time sifting through, looking for all the little details. Of course, you may not want to stare at them for too long because they are absolutely terrifying.
These images lead to a shocking moment where reality and fantasy merge. We see just how far Maribel has gone and how broken her mind and life is as a result of her experiences at Burwood Funeral Parlor. This also reinforces the idea that no one in safe in Gravetrancers. Just because Maribel is the main character does not mean that she'll get out of this story unscathed. If anything, she's the most broken by the end.
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Letterer Jim Campbell adds a personal touch to Maribel's words, especially with the narration that comes from her diary. We see her speak and think about what happened to her, but the portion that is taken from her journal gives us the deepest look into her psyche. This is presented in a font that looks handwritten, which makes us feel closer to these words in particular.
Gravetrancers is the most unpredictable comic I've read all year. Every time you think you've figured it out, it takes a sharp turn into all new insanity. It might have been built on the idea of a bunch of creeps making a drug out of corpses, but it quickly grew to something far more terrifying.