Review: Graveyard Shift #3

I’ve been really enjoying Graveyard Shift these past few months. The series from creators Jay Faerber and Fran Bueno has never taken itself too seriously, and that has led to some fun moments including one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a comic book. As we begin to make our way to the end of this book’s run however, I wonder whether the tongue-in-cheek nature of the series is starting to work against it. While I did find this third instalment entertaining and another solid entry in the series, I felt very little tension throughout and found that some of the exposition verged dangerously close to boring. If you’ve been reading Graveyard Shift up to this point then by all means you should still pick up this issue, but I’m interested to see if this story will end on the high note that it began or maybe on something a little more flat. My biggest problem with this issue of Graveyard Shift is the lack of compelling human drama. In my review of the second issue I compared this book to a show on the CW in terms of how it’s written and I think this comparison still stands strong. The main characters of Liam and Hope are quite frankly handling things too well in this issue, so well that it makes them seem less like real people. Liam seems relatively together about his girlfriend’s recent case of vampirism, and Hope herself seems to have come to terms with what’s happened to her remarkably quickly. The odd outburst that occurs between them hardly seems a sufficient response to the insane situation that the two have been plunged into. Overall it just leaves things that should be a huge deal feeling very brushed over – perhaps a sign that four issues isn’t quite long enough for this kind of story?

Graveyard-Shift-#3-2-25-15There are other little complaints I have with the writing here, such as when Liam and Hope start playing Holmes and Watson as they try to piece together a crime that could lead them to the head vampire. It was just quite a weird scene and it felt like conclusions were jumped to on very little evidence, and instead just Faerber’s desire to push the plot along so he can have everything in place for next month’s finale. Then there’s the introduction of Wanda, spiritual medium and occult expert, a character so severely lacking in personality that it felt like she didn’t have to be there at all, although I suppose maybe her significance will come into play in the next issue.

With all these complaints in mind it might seem like I really hated this issue but that truly isn’t the case. In spite of the flaws I found with the writing in some places, I’m still very interested in how Graveyard Shift is going to end. I see a lot of potential for a great finale, particularly thanks to the cliffhanger ending of this third issue which left things in a dangerous place for our two leads. Additionally the artwork by Fran Bueno continues to be superb. I’ve said it before in other reviews, but his phenomenal use of colour really does create a different atmosphere on each page. It’s stunning to look at and I hope to see more of his work in the future.

In the end, if you’ve been reading Graveyard Shift up to this point, then I really see no reason not to pick up this issue. While there are problems with the writing – the lack of realistic drama, the weird plot development – this is still a solid and entertaining instalment which leaves me just as interested in how things are going to end for Liam and Hope as I was after issue two. Graveyard Shift is flawed and at times silly, but at this point it’s still a good read.

Score: 3/5

Graveyard Shift #3 Writer: Jay Faerber Artist: Fran Bueno Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 02/25/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital