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The upcoming graphic novel is inspired by monsters and superheroes. This is what the Dark Universe should have been.
This headline is misleading. Graveyard Shift is not a crossover extravaganza between some of pop culture’s most iconic beings. But that’s how the upcoming graphic novel has been described, and to be honest that’s more than enough to pique my interest. It’s pretty clear that the comic’s heart is in the right place and that’s all that matters. However, when you look at the talent that’s involved, there’s no reason to believe that it can’t be as good as adventures featuring the Universal Monsters or the X-Men. More on that later.
The story centres around a group of scientists who are conducting some crazy experiments for a big corporation. But if we’ve learned anything from big corporations in comic books and real life, it’s that they’re not to be trusted. Naturally, the powers that be betray and murder the scientists, but if we’re learned anything about science from comic books, it’s that scientists never die. Fortunately for the team, they are reborn as monsters with superhuman abilities thanks to their own experiments. Now calling themselves Graveyard Shift, they make it their mission to save the world from supernatural evil that their evil employers have unleashed on humanity. Spooky shenanigans ensues.
Graveyard Shift was co-created by Jon Malin (Deadpool, Jawbreakers: Lost Souls) and Mark Poulton (Hawkman, Cat Named Haiku). These are no amateurs by any means. But what inspired them to venture down the independent road for this project?
In a recent interview with Bounding Into Comics, Malin discussed how Graveyard Shift is more or less a genre-mashing labor of love. An outlet for artistic fulfilment and letting still-exuberant imaginations soar. “It’s a homage to the superhero, horror, sci-fi we grew up on. Much like how Star Wars was built around Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress and the Flash Gordon serials of old, we wear our influences on our sleeves. Readers should feel a sense of nostalgia throughout as we introduce an entire cast of characters and world for them to submerge into.”
He continued: “In it’s simplest description it’s — WHAT IF the Universal Monsters were the X-Men? We took the classic trope of science experiments gone bad as our foundation for their origins much like many of the classic Marvel heroes were created, here we have scientists forced into their own experiments including resurrection chambers that were made to revive soldiers killed in action into stronger, faster, undead killing machines.”
Graveyard Shift also got Malin hired by Marvel in the first place. A few years ago there was a preview copy circulating and the publisher got a hold of it and liked what they saw. The upcoming graphic novel, however, will be much more polished than the previous version.
The duo has already smashed their crowdfunding campaign. But there’s still time to get involved and grab some perks. Comic crowdfunding campaigns are a dime a dozen, but this one is well worth keeping an eye on based on the concept alone.