Image Comics’ Unearth series has brought the body horror shock and narrative strength in each issue. Now, in Unearth #3, from writers Cullen Bunn and Kyle Strahm, with artist Baldemar Rivas, and letterer Crank!, we see a return to the former which was noticeably absent from issue number two. This was due in large part to that issue’s focus on developing the lore of the virus and placing our characters in a slow-burning powder keg which explodes in an Alien fashion at the end.
Opening with a mutated dog, Unearth #3 comes out throwing punches from the very beginning. While the issue offers up some flashbacks for our main scientists that hints to a dark past, the forefront of this issue is the body horror and the shock. Now in three issues, I don’t feel invested in the individual characters. Rather, I feel connected to the scares, to their deaths, to Riva’s jarring illustrations of skin, brains, and exploding flesh.
I also need to commend Rivas’ colors. Yellow backgrounds with pops of bright red, create a sickly palette that when paired with the bodily mutations is truly unsettling and beautiful to see on the page. Awhile back, Bunn responded to a tweet I wrote about Unearth reminding me of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte series. In his response, he said that they would be bringing more body horror than that series. As of right now, with Unearth #3, the creative team is getting extremely close to bringing this promise to reality.
Unearth #3 is about exploring the horrors of the cave while Bunn and Strahm lay breadcrumbs for the story. Unearth #3 is about exploring the horrors of the cave while Bunn and Strahm lay breadcrumbs for the story. EIC @OhMyMithrandir reviews #Unearth #2 from @ImageComics by @cullenbunn, @kstrahm, @baldemar_rivas, and Crank!. Find out why she gives it a 5/5. Outside the horror, there isn’t much else to this issue, but the impending doom it sets up for those inside and out of the cave is something that I can see paying off in future issues of the series.
Overall, Unearth is not a series for the easily shocked. The body mutilation and manipulation are graphic. While horror fans will find it beautifully crafted, those unfamiliar with the genre will be taken aback, and that’s just fine. Unearth is the series I have wanted. It has the energy of Alien with the suspense and body horror of The Thing and all wrapped into a unique story. It’s a must-read for horror fans far and wide.
Unearth #3 is available in comic book stores everywhere now.
Unearth is the series I have wanted. It has the energy of Alien with the suspense and body horror of The Thing and all wrapped into a unique story. It’s a must-read for horror fans far and wide.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.