The Family Graves Volume 1: Fiercely Family

The Family Graves Volume 1: Fiercely Family
The Family Graves V1 review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Source Point Press - 978-1-945-94058-3
  • UPC: 9781945940583
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero, Young Adult

The Graves family live in a supernatural world, and each of them has what’s in effect a superpower connected with the myths of old. The publisher’s promo material makes the comparison with The Incredibles, but Dad Phil being the scientific genius draws a line further back to the Fantastic Four. Either way, the family dynamics make for an instantly understandable bond and what writer Timothy Bach institutes well is a sense of wonder, that with these personalities and powers almost anything could happen. As a way of introducing the family and their capabilities, they’re thrown back to the dinosaur era. After that Bach stretches the family relationships a little further.

That sense of wonder is exploited well by Brian Atkins, who takes what could be drawn very differently as horror material, and instead produces a likeable family that we want to pull through their problems. Plenty of his designs are included after the story, and they’re good. The light mood is helped by bright colouring throughout, the result being if not quite all-ages, certainly young adult level. Atkins is a workhorse artist whose page designs and backgrounds are good, but he isn’t always a hundred percent when it comes to human figures. Without him, though, the fast pace Fiercely Family needs wouldn’t be as effectively conveyed.

Key to the entire adventure is the clever device of mirrors that transport through time and into alternate universes. Not only does this ensure constantly changing locations, but it provides a subliminal reminder of something important to the overall plot, along the lines of mirrors revealing the soul. The way everything ties in at the end is cleverly plotted, and over four chapters there’s been a role for each family member. It’s fun, and it’s promising, and more would be welcome.