Review: Bone Parish #1

A new drug is sweeping through the streets of New Orleans—one made from the ashes of the dead. Wars are being fought over who will control the supply, while the demand only rises.

While the crime families wage war, users begin to experience terrifying visions of the dead coming back to life—through them.

I’m a huge fan of gangster/mob/gang stories and there’s been some fantastic entries into that genre in comics. What comics have also done is mix up those stories with other genres like science fiction or in this case horror. Writer Cullen Bunn is a master of that genre and has proven that over and over again in numerous series, so it isn’t too surprising that Bone Parish #1 is so good.

The first three-quarters of the comic is a straight up mob story of a drug operation and the other “family” that wants to muscle in and take that operation over. It’s something we’ve seen storywise many times before and even then, this would still be entertaining. The fact this new drug is made from corpses is interesting and something new but it’s not until the final few pages when that really comes in to play. And with that comes the twist. And it’s a hell of a twist…. actually more than one. And the good becomes great at that point.

Bunn delivers some interesting characters and a drug cartel that’s family in a way that’s interesting. The rivals don’t have too much depth, but they don’t need to. The focus here is our main drug pushers and what they’ve unleashed. And in that way the comic becomes beyond original and a must read.

The art by Jonas Scharf with colors by Alex Giumarães, and lettering by Ed Dukeshire helps with the twist(s). I went back to look over the art once things became clear and it’s very reminiscent of a certain film, which I won’t give away because that ruins the twist. There’s a level of detail in the art that becomes even more appreciated once things are revealed. The coloring too is a big deal as the drug gives us a day-glow sort of style enhancing things from the usual grist of the comic. It helps enhance the high of it all.

The comic is fantastic and cements Bunn as a master of horror. This is one that’s an absolute must get and one you don’t want ruined. Bone Parish brilliantly blends the familiar mob/drug story with that of a horror aspect, something that seems so obvious to do, but so far has had only mediocre results. Here though, the surprise ending and reveals raise the story to the next level and creates a comic series that will absolutely make “best of” lists come year end.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Jonas Scharf
Color: Alex Giumarães Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Main Cover: Lee Garbett Variant Cover: Rod Reis
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review