by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari
The challenge of The Bunker is that it opened with a premise that is quite grand. A group of friends has realized that their future selves are responsible for the decay of mankind through the discovery of a bunker filled with information pertinent to those future events. The audience learns that though this future is terrible, it is the best possible future and their actions must occur. Fialkov stated that his focus was questioning fate and other large thematic questions. Since that issue, the story has scaled back immensely. In order for this to feel justified, the writer needs to deliver character work that is as engaging as the setup.
Issue two was a very good indication that this is possible. Fialkov painted a haunting vignette of one of the leads of the story, and it unfolded in a way that was equally as captivating as a story with larger a wider scope. This third issue deals with another member of the group, and a pattern can better be seen as to the direction of this initial act of The Bunker. Natasha is the center of this chapter, and her story is one of sex and betrayal. After realizing that her friend went behind her back and slept with her boyfriend, Natasha has little reservations about returning the favor. Readers are also treated to a glimpse at her future through bits scattered across the issue. The jump forward in this issue falls a year short of the future on display in the opening chapter. Similar to the other issues, readers are also made privy to another letter.
Natasha’s story is not as strong as Heidi’s in the last issue. Her actions and interactions have less of an impact and her character, as a result, feels thinner than the others. The portion of the story that takes place in the future is also unclear. Readers may struggle to understand what is being presented to them.
The visuals in this issue are excellent. Though Joe Infurnari uses almost no color within the story pages of The Bunker other than hues to indicate a different point in time, his pencil work is fantastic. The sequential story telling on display in the opening moments has a sensual and scandalous tonality without being photorealistic. Infurnari is able to capture the essence of body language and the emoting on an individual’s face in a way that is as impactful as witnessing the events in reality. Just as with the previous two issues, the cover image and ensuing title pages are beautiful and incredibly creepy at the same time. The sparse use of pink in these images in an otherwise black and white story works very well.
Each of the five individuals looks to have very significant roles within the universe that has been created. Unfortunately, this chapter does not quite convince the audience that there is a whole lot to Natasha, and as a result the issue falls a little short. Still the issue is worth reading, and hopefully The Bunker will have a bit more to say in its next installment.