A time travel series with not robots or lasers but moral conundrum and character at its heart.
The first issue of Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari’s mystery project, The Bunker, opens on a quiet scene of friends burying a time capsule in the present. What comes after that is a mind-bending tale of future dystopias, time travel, and fate.
The main appeal of the first issue was a real focus on character development. A few pages in, I hated all of the characters. But their bickering becomes endearing as the issue goes on, and when the stakes of the book become clear, that bickering takes on a whole new meaning.
The concept of The Bunker is one of my favorites from the time travel genre in quite some time. We get images of a destroyed future (all wonderfully, painfully realized by Infurnari’s pencils), but where a traditional time travel story would be about this group of friends trying to prevent this future, we quickly realize that at least one of the group is tasked with making sure this future comes to pass.
The scenes from the future are all disturbing in their own rights and the mood is set early on by the art that this story is destined for even more despair , but the characters in the present sell the idea. They are all warned of a potential future and their roles in it are briefly explained to them. Which characters will try to change the future? Which will continue down the path laid out before them? The first issue does little more than ask these questions but the set up immediately has me looking for more.
The mystery should be more than enough for most readers to forgive a fairly introductory first chapter and be clamoring for next month’s installment.
Joshua Hale Fialkov (W), Joe Infurnari (A) • Hoarse and Buggy Productions, $1.99, August 5, 2013.