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REVIEW: Graveyard Shift #1 by Jay Faerber and Fran Bueno

Available December 24, 2015

Graveyard Shift #1 by Jay Faerber and Fran Bueno is an adrenaline rush of uncommon ferocity and horror. It's a new series that promises "Fright Night-style thrills and Castle-like crime solving" and that may be true but this week's debut is all about action.

Faerber also pens the great Copperhead comic for Image Comics. The science-fiction police procedural is an enthralling piece of detective storytelling that evolves over time. If that title is like a lazy river then Shift is a full-on tsunami. It grabs the reader by the throat from the beginning and only softens its grip momentarily before tightening like a vise once again by the end. It does what a great first issue should do; leave the reader wanting more. 

Liam is a homicide detective who suffers unspeakable losses in one night and has to reconcile what happened with a gang of vampires out to get him. There are other vampire books on the market, they are well written, full of nuance and grandeur but Shift thus far has flipped the bird to heavy exposition, grandiose monologues and has shown a quick, dirty style that is exciting, bloody and visceral. 

Faerber reteamed with Bueno who previously worked on Noble Causes together and the result is perfect. Bueno's noirish style full of dimly-lit scenes, shadows and heavily contrasted backgrounds works well with the dark theme. You can almost feel the glee in Bueno as he draws the brutal fight scenes. The anguish in the faces, the blood splatter, the gun shots are expressed with such expertise that the frenetic pace with the clever angles in each frame and layouts get the heart pumping. It seems Faerber set the stage for Bueno to go wild and it pays off big time. 

Needless to say but Faerber and Image have yet another hit on their hands. As if the rich couldn't get any richer, both still have Secret Identities debuting in February. It could be a hat trick of titles for writer and publisher. So if you like your vampire crime thrillers with pulse pounding action and fantastic noirish art then Graveyard Shift is the title for you. 


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