Image Comics’ Twisted Subterranean Cosmic/Survival/Body/Eco-Horror Continues In Unearth #3

by Brendan M. Allen

Venturing into a vast subterranean nightmare populated with the most hideous creatures imaginable, mankind’s last hope against a fiendish—and seemingly intelligent—disease is shattered! Beset by murderous, insanity-inducing beasts from all sides, the American scientific and military task force has become separated in a twisted underground realm. As their bodies begin to change in demonic fashion, they must fight to keep their sanity… and avoid turning against one another.

This is where it gets weird, y’all. Weirder, anyway. In the first couple of chapters, a scientific and military task force was dispatched to check out an epidemic that was grotesquely deforming the locals in the Mexican town of Mitlan Itza. It quickly became apparent the problem was much worse than a few goiters and some bloody tubby custard. 

In Unearth #3, we have two teams caught deep in some tunnel system, where they’re being hunted down and picked off at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, topside, we’ve found where those human blobfish undulated off to. (It’s not good.)

Kyle Strahm and Cullen Bunn follow a similar formula in chapter three as in the first couple books. Huge pops at the beginning and end bookend a whole hell of a lot of giant segmented arthropod looking things and a couple cephalopods, maybe?

Oh, and that creepy child with all the blood? She’s back. There’s something strange going on here. That Lovecraftian RPG from the last chapter? Somehow it’s tied into what’s happening in those tunnels.

Baldemar Rivas is doing some really interesting things with the art. There are a couple places in this third chapter where you really get to see the real-time progression of… whatever this contagion is. Plenty of body horror this installment, but also more of those little details that are just “off” enough to unsettle the reader.

Three chapters in, I finally have a working theory about what’s going on here. Knowing who’s writing the script, I’m probably wrong, but there’s comfort in not being completely lost, even if I’m dead certain they’ll be pulling the rug out in a minute.

Unearth #3, Image Comics, 11 September 2019. Story by Cullen Bunn and Kyle Strahm, art/cover by Baldemar Rivas, letters by Crank!, edited by Joel Enos, alternate cover by Kyle Strahm, production/design by Ryan Brewer, editorial assistance on back matter by Matthew Mitchell.

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