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The Bunker: Volume 1 Paperback – 19 Aug 2014

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Interesting concept, trippy story and worth checking out. 31 July 2014
By W. McCoy - Published on
Format: Paperback
I love comics that mess with my head (Mind MGMT, I'm looking at you), and 'The Bunker: Volume 1 by Joshua Hale Fialkov falls into that category. It's got a little SF, a little horror, and a little drama.

Five friends go into the woods to bury a time capsule. This is the only part of the story that was a bit contrived to me, but it gets the story going, so I'm willing to let it be. While they are digging a hole to bury it, they find a bunker. When they enter it, they each find a letter written to themselves from their future selves. The letters are way too personal to be the prank that they initially think this is. They describe how the world will be destroyed in the near future and what they need to do, or not do, in order to stop it. All is not as it seems as there is some plotting and scheming. The story weaves between past, future and present. If you know the future, can it be changed? Is it a set course or is it malleable?

The art by Joe Infurnari is good. It's a bit rougher than I usually like, but it serves the story well. It makes the story a bit murky, but I think that's intentional. The story is good, but the time capsule thing bugged me. Also the fact that among 5 friends more than one has a huge role to play in the future. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Big Chilling (4.5 stars) 17 Aug 2014
By Alt - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A group of friends on a Big Chill outing stumble across a bunker, but it can't be a coincidence that they find it since their names are on the door. Inside they find notes from the future, describing their future endeavors and the various roles they play in bringing about the near extinction of the human race. The question is: should they try to stop that future from happening or should they encourage it? Do billions need to die to save the planet?

As a Big Chill theme would imply, there's a fair amount of sex and cheating and anger going on, much of which gets exposed by the letters from the future. That interpersonal drama makes it difficult for the characters to trust each other. It might be even more difficult to trust their future selves. The letters they receive seem convincing, but it isn't easy to believe in messages from the future.

It would be easy for the relationships among the characters to become melodramatic but that hasn't happened yet. The larger story is chilling and well told although it's a bit early to know whether the story is going anywhere worthwhile. Only four issues in, it is difficult to evaluate. Plots involving time travel can be difficult to pull off. The series might produce a fantastic story or it might turn out to be a dud. What I can say at this point is that the story is intriguing and promising. The sketchy art is dark and moody. I'm giving this volume 4 1/2 stars with the hope that the series as a whole will prove to be a 5.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Comic, But Has ZERO To Do With Archie Bunker 4 Sep 2014
By Brian Farrelly - Published on
Format: Paperback
First off, I gotta say I was initially pretty disappointed that this has absolutely nothing to do with Archie Bunker, Edith or any of the cast from “All In The Family” (my #1 favorite TV-show eva!). When I saw the cover at my local comic shop, I thought for sure, someone had finally made a post-apocalyptic graphic novel about America’s favorite blue-collar bigot with a heart of gold, Archie Bunker, so I quickly purchased it and power walked all the way home, positively elated with the possible stories that lay in store for me. I envisioned Queens as a hell scorched wasteland where a cyborg Archie Bunker leads a ragtag band of freedom fighters (Murray, Barney, Harry and the whole crew from down at Archie Bunker’s Place) against a mysterious ultra left-wing guerilla group led by Michael Stivic, Maude & Lionel Jefferson called “The Meathead Dawn”, all in a tooth and nail fight for control of New York City. Imagine my surprise, though, when I actually read it and it had absolutely nothing to do with this scenario OR Archie Bunker at all! And now imagine my double surprise when, despite this overwhelming fact, I was actually glued to each and every page from cover to cover and then reread it shortly thereafter because I didn’t want the story to end. I hope someday, somebody out there makes a post-apocalyptic comic book about Archie Bunker, but until then you should sit tight and order up a copy of The Bunker: Volume 1 today. But you don't have to take my word for it. Da-dun-dun!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A high-concept time travel story that is character-driven 16 Oct 2014
By Genevieve DeGuzman - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Bunker: Volume 1 by Joshua Hale Fialkov centers on a group of five friends who go to the forest to bury a time capsule. As they're digging around they stumble instead on a bunker and discover four letters addressed to four of them. (Interestingly, one guy doesn't get his own letter, a telling detail that will play itself out later in the arc of the story.) At first they think it's all an elaborate joke. They soon realize that it is all very real. The handwriting and the information mentioned in each letter remove all doubts. Tellingly, they don't share the letters with each other.

The messages in the letters are grim. In one form or another they learn that the world is going to end; an epidemic will eventually wipe out most of humanity. A few of them learn that they play a role in bringing about this disaster. The revelation disrupts the dynamics in the group and everyone starts to drift apart. The storytelling shifts at this stage, and we start to learn about each character individually.

Visually, The Bunker captures the tension between past, present, and future with panels that mix a heavy cocktail of pathos, regret, and unresolved personal sh*t that comes to the surface. This story is very character-driven and we're treated to backstories alongside both an increasingly anxious and paranoid present and flash forwards to a terrifying future. Good stuff. I thought the characters were very distinctly portrayed both through the dialogue, the letters, and the pacing of the panels.

A lot of people have expressed their distaste toward the artwork. Joe Infurnari's style here is abstract, blurry, as if we're looking at unfinished sketches, but I think this deliberate 'messiness' contributes nicely to the dark mood and evokes the shifting temporality inherent in the story. I think the criticism is unduly harsh. Illustrations don't have to be pretty.

The Bunker starts with a discovery and ends with a pretty big cliffhanger *SPOILER AHEAD as one of the future 'selves' returns to the present to confront (and manipulate?) the group*. As far as comics-style storytelling goes, this is compelling. I definitely want to read Volume 2.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The big super hero stuff is fun every once and a while 5 Aug 2014
By Darren Hupke - Published on
Format: Paperback
These are the kinds of comics I wish more people read these days. The big super hero stuff is fun every once and a while, but a book like this? This is where the fun is. A blend of drama, mystery and sci-fi, each issue gets you excited to read the next. A group of friends find out from their future selves that one of them is going to screw up the world. The relationships that are tested and made start pushing the story down really fun paths. Highly recommended.
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