Script: Cullen Bunn, Kyle Strahm
Art: Baldemar Rivas
Publisher: Image Comics
A team of scientists and soldiers travel to a remote area in Mexico to investigate a mysterious virus that has horribly disfigured the populace. The task force discovers more than they bargained for when they come across a mysterious ecosystem, along with hostile forces who have an agenda of their own. So begins Unearth, a horror tale that draws inspiration from familiar sources but is wholly unique in its execution.
Written by horror aficionados Cullen Bunn and Kyle Strahm, this new series toes the line between horror and science fiction in a way that is rarely seen, let alone done well. From the diverse personalities of our characters to the varied reactions to the team’s discovery, the story has shades of films like Aliens and Annihilation, while some of the grotesque images evoke The Thing and Slither. The dynamic between curious scientist and cautious soldier provides plenty of intriguing conflict, to say nothing of the outside factors that threaten them all.
The story’s greatest threat appears to be the flesh-warping disease, the effects of which are both horrifying and strangely beautiful when rendered by the amazing Baldemar Rivas. He draws the infected, along with everything else, in a way that is both stylistic and frighteningly realistic. The grotesque images of twisted flesh call to mind Tetsuo’s horrific transformation at the end of Akira. Rivas’s work fits the style of the story perfectly and even shares some similarities to co-creator Strahm, whose own artistic influence is all over the book.
Unearth is weird in all the best ways possible, layered with ideas to explore while never fully disclosing what the story is about or where it’s heading. While that aspect can often be frustrating, it’s actually one of this book’s greatest strengths. Is the threat simply a virus? Is it aliens? Monsters? Magic? It could be any or none of the above. The mystery is at the very heart of this bizarre and horrifying tale and I, for one, can’t wait to know more.