Back in the 1980’s every kid was scared to death by drills at school about running to the bomb shelter and hiding in case of a nuclear attack. There were movies about people living in underground shelters and weathering the storms and fallout from “the bomb.” I will say, there has never been a story like the one being told in The Bunker #1 from Oni Press.
On the last night of their lives, at least their college lives together, five friends head out to the woods to bury a time capsule and find that someone was there before them. What they find is a time capsule of sorts, but on a massive scale and with information from each of their future selves. This is the journey that Joshua Hale Fialkov takes us on as Joe Infurnari draws and colors a stark future for these five friends. How deep is their friendship?
In this bunker, the group finds letters written to each of them, supposedly written by their future selves and somehow transported back here to them on this momentous evening that was supposed to be their last together as they had graduated college and were going their separate ways. Instead, the knowledge they gain from these letters changes many of their lives forever. Cheating is exposed, future spouses are predicted, and tales unravel of lives ending. But these are not the worst things…
While one friend is destined to be president of the United States, another is destined to wipe out all life as we know it. Attempting to avert an extinction level event, the friends of the future send back information to help themselves choose better paths. In the pursuit of a better future, they have instead condemned themselves to destruction.
This story is so interesting that I really don’t want to spoil any of it. I love a story that is held together by the strength of the characters and the relationships between them. The addition of the revelations from the future and the insinuation that all is not what it seems adds a sense of mystery and intrigue to this story that just puts it over the top. The internal conflicts drive the story along as the characters battle their own unbelief. Sometimes the truth is hard to accept, even coming from yourself.
Originally presented as a digital web series, The Bunker #1 collects all five chapters of the web comic. The best part is that Infurnari has taken those original panels, recolored them, and laid them out for your (very much) viewing enjoyment. The colors and art of this book are excellently in line with the story. The shadows and splashes of color really tell a tale of the feelings and conflict between the characters in the now and future timelines.
One more bit of news about this great book. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in an interview with Fialkov, he stated “”We’re working with a couple huge producers and an amazing studio on a TV version right now.” So, not only was this comic available first as a web comic, now in print, but it’s soon to be a TV show. That will be a cool trifecta to have under their belt. I look forward to the next issue and the ongoing tale of The Bunker.