We see a man amid a vivid trip in the middle of the street. We see the man selling the drug that caused this trip, Dante. We then bounce to three men in the process of gathering materials for this drug, called the Ash. We then meet the cook and her parents. The Ash allows its users to relive the lives of a dead individual. It is made of their ground bones as well as other materials. Grace Winters, the mother of the cook and the head of the organization, is meeting with big players from New York interested in her operation.
Bone Parish is the newest crime/horror comic from writer Cullen Bunn. This first issue comes off more like a straightforward crime story. The comic establishes how this drug operation works and the major players in it.
Well, I say it establishes the major players—it gives us names and faces. It doesn’t tell us much about each character. The only horror elements within are the macabre ingredients of the drug and what it does.
This brings us to the biggest problem with Bone Parish #1. It’s kind of boring. Not deathly so, but it is a little dull. The most interesting parts are the beginning and end: the drug trip and the last twist.
The rest is stock crime drama content that feels a little too conventional. We are introduced to all these characters, but none of them are given much personality or distinguishing factors.
Jonas Scharf delivers some great artwork at least. The world and characters are well-rendered and highly detailed. There’s a distinct texture to it all, which gives it some visual personality. Alex Guimaraes’ color art adds to that personality with a tendency towards more off-beat shades to add to the shadows, thought he comic’s propensity for darkness does become a little tiring towards the end.
Bone Parish #1 is far too conventional and tame for its own good. It follows crime story tropes too closely while not focusing on elements that could give it a unique identity. The art is very good, but that doesn’t quite earn the book a recommendation.
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