Review: Graveyard Shift #2

I was really impressed by the first issue of Graveyard Shift, and couldn’t wait to see where this story would go next. While I didn’t find issue two quite as impressive as the first instalment, I still think that this is definitely a series that’s worth your time. Following the story of police detective Liam and his recently-turned vampire girlfriend Hope, Graveyard Shift #2 is a fun ride with some exciting moments that has left me very interested in where this book is headed. Writer Jay Faerber has developed a great pacing on this book. Things started with a bang with the first issue, and he’s been able to keep up that momentum on this second instalment. The best part is this fast pace isn’t at the expense of character development. While series leads Liam and Hope perhaps aren’t the most original characters to ever grace the pages of a comic-book, they do feel real to me. Reading this issue I felt myself really feeling for Hope, and hoping (no pun intended) that somehow she can get out of the horrible situation she’s been thrown into. But it’s not just the characters that I like about this book, I’m also really enjoying the wider story that Faerber is telling. At this point, it reads like a very intimate, very personal story about two innocent people being attacked by forces beyond their understanding. This concept is highly compelling, and Faerber has filled it with enough plot twists to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Graveyard-Shift-#2-1-28-15The artwork by Fran Bueno also continues to impress. His art, as I said in my review of the first issue of this series, is perfectly suited to this kind of story. I love his use of shadow and the raw emotion present in every facial expression his characters make. The lack of a colorist credit leads me to assume that Bueno has been coloring his work here himself, which makes things even more impressive as there’s a real energy to his artwork that isn’t easy to accomplish. Put simply, Graveyard Shift looks great.

The only thing that holds this issue back in my opinion is that the dialogue occasionally falters. Not every line is golden, and there were a few here and there that felt a little awkward. The best way I can describe it is that some lines read like they’d been plucked from a CW TV show. That’s not me making a dig at the CW – in fact I adore both Arrow and The Flash – but I can acknowledge that the writing in both of those shows isn’t always spot on. I feel it’s a similar thing here: the awkward lines don’t stop this series from being enjoyable, but they do pull you out of the action a little every now and then.

However, aside from some occasional awkward dialogue, Graveyard Shift #2 was a great read and has cemented this series as a book that you need to be picking up. The characters feel very real, the plot is exciting, and the artwork atmospheric. While I maintain the view that this maybe isn’t the most original story ever, that doesn’t stop it from being very fun to read. Pick it up!

Score: 4/5

Writer: Jay Faerber Artist: Fran Bueno Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 1/28/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital