The Bunker #2 Review
A time travel story told in the way that most time travel stories aren't. Through its characters.
The lettering and word balloons can be a little rough in places.
A message from the future tells young Grady exactly what he has to do to become a world renowned hero. The only problem is that a lot of people have to die first.
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist/Colourist/Letterer: Joe Infurnari
Editors: James Lucas Jones and Robin Herrera
Publisher: Oni Press
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously on The Bunker: Five friends discovered letters from their future selves in a bunker in the woods. Letters with secrets about what will happen to the world, and more importantly, what will happen to them. What will these friends decide to do with such information? More importantly, what will they do when they find out that an older version of one of them has time traveled to present day from the future?
BLOW UP A BUILDING, BECOME A HERO
Joshua Hale Fialkov brilliantly pulls the rug out from under us in issue two. The first issue of The Bunker was very dense. We were slammed into an introduction of the characters, and thrown deeply into a time travel mystery that is shaped and formed more by interpersonal relationships than science fiction. With so much to absorb in the first issue, a second issue with that many elements might have scared certain readers away. Thankfully, Fialkov pushed in the focus of the story to just two characters.
Young Grady receives a Fed-Ex package at his door. Inside is a paper that can change the world. It tells the story of himself saving people from an exploding building, becoming a hero known to the entire world. Sadly, he has to let a building explode to achieve this goal.
The Bunker doesn’t shy away from the truly ethical issues of time travel. It focuses on them like a microscope, and makes you confront what you would do if you were presented with the same situation. Would you let a whole building die? Or would you try to stop it? The bulk of the issue is young Grady trying to come to grips with his destiny. One that he could torpedo at any moment. What will he do?
If only young Grady knew that his future self was currently in the present day, living in the bunker. He might reconsider his whole decision making process. The future Grady reveal was a huge cliffhanger from issue one, and issue two keeps going as we learn a couple more pieces of the puzzle and mythology of The Bunker universe. Joshua Hale Fialkov is no rush to reveal his master plan for these characters. Like doors in The Bunker, Fialkov is slowing opening new revelations about his story issue by issue, and the wait is killing me.
IT’S A SOFTER FUTURE FOR US ALL
The line style and coloring by Joe Infurnari give the story a softer and quieter tone. Since the story is epic and world shattering; its nice to see the art have a more dreamy look. This contrast could be a specific look by the creators, and if it is. It’s working. If you’re looking for a specific superhero house style art in a book, you will not find it here.
THE BOTTOM LINE: GO DEEP INSIDE THE BUNKER
Issue two of The Bunker is just as strong as the first if not stronger. Fialkov is playing the long game with the reader. Giving us just enough information about the mystery to keep us engaged, and molding deep characters to make sure we care about the characters involved. The Bunker is one of the strongest mystery comics out there, and dare I say it, possibly one of the best time travel comic stories ever. You should be reading this.