In all the fuss over Dark Ark it seems like readers are forgetting about yet another excellent book that Cullen Bunn is putting out for Aftershock. We touched on it briefly during our chat with the prolific scribe, but it bears repeating: if you like Arthurian lore and aren’t reading Unholy Grail you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Y’know what? No, I won't put this book in a box. If you like reading creepy-ass books with compelling stories and damn good art, you need to check this book out - Bunn and crew are weaving a bananas story that continues its relentless pace with issue 4.
In the previous issue Merlin (who’s a demonic son of a bitch in this series) continued to groom Arthur for conquest and domination, and it ended with the creation of Morgana la Fey through one of the weirdest, gag-iest scenes I’ve read in a while. Here, Merlin senses that things are good in Camelot, and it pisses him off.
Here Bunn’s wicked wizard sows seeds of discord – his meddling brings Guinevere and Lancelot’s affair to light, as well as Morgana’s temptations of Arthur. I cannot get over just how unabashedly cruel and calculating this Merlin is; Bunn has written a demon clad in flesh who creates only to destroy, and here he wishes the destruction of Guinevere by way of infidelity…and Morgana. The two women are linked via the incredible conception of the latter, and both deal with childbirth in different, horrible ways.
If there was ever an artist who could render this medieval horror story to perfect life, it is Mirko Colak. His capturing of the subtleties of nonverbal communications – the perfection of facial emoting – is a thing to behold. You can clearly see the difference between physical and emotional agony thanks to his clean artwork, which makes it all the more powerful. Of course, Colak’s gorgeous line work is made even more incredible thanks to colorist Maria Santaolalla. She gives all the gruesome art looking vibrant and horrific, and dictates tone through a wisely chosen color scheme.
It’s rare to see a book this good flying under the radar, but that’s what Unholy Grail has done for four issues. Cullen Bunn reinforces just how phenomenal he is at spinning a truly scary yarn, and Colak is the perfect compliment. Aftershock has yet another winner on their hands, and this genre-blending book should be placed in front of as many eyes as possible.