Review - The Gravediggers Union #1 (@imagecomics)

"It's the end of the world...but what else is new, am I right?"

Gravediggers have one job: dig graves. It's a straightforward and often thankless job, as they regularly inter the remains of those previously loved and/or despised. It's not often they have to bury the same body twice, but that's the premise behind The Gravediggers Union #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Wes Craig, illustrated by Craig (pages 1-5) and Toby Cypress, colored by Niko Guardia and lettered by Jared K. Fletcher.

The supernatural world has gone crazy! The apocalypse is coming, and only the Gravediggers Union can stop it! How? Well, first their leader Cole has to find his estranged daughter. But is she the one behind the apocalypse? Wild comedic horror with steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms, and space monkeys!

Craig must know there are no shortage of apocalypse tales because The Gravediggers Union #1 is done in a way that actually feels fresh. His take on the concept is that the apocalypse is coming and there are some who can stop it in the Gravediggers Union whose role is to bury the dead--both before and after they rise again. The dialogue is pretty snappy in that respect, offering readers great exchanges that emphasize the realities of worldwide events and the ho-hum nature of dealing with them. And Craig's concept of a Gravediggers Union is pretty clever as well, in that it adds a layer of bureaucracy to dealing with the apocalypse that feels pretty fresh. The plot moves along pretty briskly considering its introducing that concept to the reader and Craig ensures there's plenty of humor along the way.

Where The Gravediggers Union #1 really stands out is the artwork by Cypress. His approach is extremely stylized and loose in a way that adds a sense of visual chaos to the world as it unravels. Cypress allows the illustrations to be somewhat haphazard yet gorgeous at the same time through his approach which furthers the reader's sense of outlandishness. Characters are loosely rendered and the vague lines throughout reinforce the notion that the world is falling apart. Guardia's colors are equally as dour, delving largely into the darker, more ominous side of the spectrum.

The Gravediggers Union #1 is a slick first issue that's a great start. The members of the titular group are faced with something new even to them and are willing to do what it takes to successfully do their job. Craig's script is engaging and amusing, emphasizing the red tape a group has to deal with even in the face of the apocalypse. Cypress' artwork is extremely effective at adding an ethereal touch to the book that's a reminder of what they're up against. The Gravediggers Union #1 is definitely worth checking out as it's a new series with a fresh take on an otherwise tired concept.

The Gravediggers Union #1 is available now.