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What’s in Joshua Fialkov’s Bunker?

Joshua Fialkov’s new creator owned series ‘The Bunker’ launched earlier this month on Comixology. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading the debut issue, I urge you to check it out. The series is about a group of friends who find a mysterious underground bunker which holds all of their futures.

Failkov’s story never stops building momentum. This comic will be one of the most talked about books this year. The story deals with fate, friendship, and the apocalypse but does so in new and exciting ways.

Sadly we here at Bloody Disgusting missed the opportunity to review this book when it was released. Instead, here is a broad discussion of the book’s themes, ideas, and constructs. We won’t miss ‘The Bunker’ next month.

This article should be a talking point for people who’ve read the first issue. Fialkov’s story offers up the ending almost immediately. He doesn’t pull any punches with giving the reader a terrifying glimpse of what’s to come. It’s the perfect tease.

The journey becomes almost superfluous when you know the end point. Hard to focus when you know how things will end up. Imagine watching your favorite sports team play, but you already knew they’d lost. You try everything in your power to defy that fate, but in the end fate is in control. ‘The Bunker” expertly explores this concept. Can we change the outcome once it’s set in stone?

Fialkov uses hand written letters as a device to build his character’s fates. As the book implies, fate seems inescapable. The characters that enter the bunker seem predestined to read the letters they receive in this first issue. Letters that they themselves write in the future. Letters that are sent to the past, and through reading them determine the future… still with me?

This creates a loop for the entire series to repeat itself. Like any good time travel story, the possibilities and implications that rise out of this loop are nearly brain melting.

The future is predetermined from them reading the letters in the past. However, the other possibility is that the letters have created a tangential timeline in which our protagonist must now steer back on course.

The first issue has a wonderful sense of voice through these themes. The note that snakes through the pages implies a fate direr, if the future doesn’t come to exist, as the note knows it.

Spoilers for the first issue from here on out.

The final reveal of the note being written by Billy, the one character so concerned that he doesn’t have his own is perfectly tantalizing. It raises even more questions to the overall narrative. Billy’s love for Grady is a heartfelt spin.

A book about love, fate, and the apocalypse wrapped in a time travel mystery, “The Bunker” takes the best elements of “12 Monkeys” and peppers in a rag tag group of friends. It’s a tried and true dynamic, but its never quite been explored in this way.

Fialkov plays a dangerous game in this first issue. He manages to set up an incredible amount of story. This allows the book a lot of room to breath as to where the story goes next. Good storytelling is all about defying expectations. This entire first issue is built on a foundation of setting expectations. If Fialkov can twist and turn his story making the reader doubt the fate he sets up in this issue, only to get back to exactly where we started he’ll have truly achieved something magnificent.

Only time will tell us what’s in the bunker, how’d it get there, and how are these people we just met capable of so much?

Stay tuned to Bloody Disgusting to find out more about this incredible series, and tell us what you think about ‘The Bunker’ in the comments!



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