Reviews, Comics

Ain’t No Grave #1 Review: Knocking on Death’s Door

Saddle up for the wild journey of Ain’t No Grave, the latest comic miniseries by Middlewest creators Skottie Young and Jorge Corona.

Ain't No Grave 1 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesMay 8, 2024, 9:32 AM

Ain’t No Grave #1

Ain't No Grave 1 Cover

Writer: Skottie Young

Artist: Jorge Corona

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: May 8, 2024

Page Count: 48

Format: Single-issue

Ain’t No Grave #1 blends Western grit with supernatural eeriness for a story that balances the weights of life and death. Driven by a fascinating character who is looking down the barrel of death, this double-sized issue takes you on an engrossing journey from start to finish.

Skottie Young is a comic book creator who never ceases to surprise me. I first discovered his work through his variant covers for Marvel that reimagined many of the biggest superheroes as playful and chaotic kids/chibis. Then just when I thought that would be his niche in comics, he used his distinct cartoony style to create I Hate Fairyland, which became super popular for its absurd art and violent storytelling. 

Little did I know that his creativity stretched far beyond the bloody hijinks he made his name on. His comics with Jorge Corona, which are Middlewest and The Me You Love in the Dark, opened people’s eyes to Young’s ability to write fascinating stories that are not just fun, but also thought-provoking. Ain’t No Grave is Young and Corona's latest in their long-running collaborations together, and it’s looking to be their boldest story yet. Read on for my thoughts about this gritty, captivating, and beautiful new comic. 


Ryder is an old gunslinger who left her violent life behind. With her lush farm, loving husband, and beautiful daughter, she got everything she ever dreamed of. However, the past she left behind does not stay dead and buried. Because her days are numbered, she has no choice but to pick up her guns for one last ride. She sets out on a lone journey filled with violence, death, and the supernatural to reclaim control over her life. The only thing she needs to do is kill Death itself. No big deal, right? 

Ain’t No Grave 1 - woman horseback ridingImage: Image Comics


While I’m not typically someone who dives into Westerns, Ain’t No Grave lassoed me in with its blend of grit and the supernatural. With its massive 48-page count, this issue takes you on a sprawling journey that explores the story’s intriguing world and characters. By the opening pages already, you get a good grasp of the kind of character Ryder is with her imposing presence and tough attitude. But what the rest of the issue does well is raise the stakes of her mission by giving glimpses of her softer side and the peaceful life she left behind. Her journey throughout the issue then culminates into a climactic final page that immediately sets the tone for the rest of the series. 

Having just recently discovered Jorge Corona’s work through Daniel Warren Johnson’s ongoing Transformers run, I was eager to see him in the kind of project that helped get his name out there. This issue did not disappoint in showcasing Corona’s stellar art with Jean-François Beaulieu on colors and Nate Piekos on letters. Every step of Ryder’s journey, from the barren wastelands to the musty forests, is packed with many artistic details that add character to the comic’s strange world. Turning the page in this comic felt like such a joy because I never knew what type of scenery or creature would appear next. But the aspect I love the most about this series’ art is the character designs. Ryder’s unique silhouette, with her elaborate leather jacket and large red scarf, makes her stand out in any panel she’s in. Seeing such a unique-looking character explore so many different terrains and settings made for a fun experience I don’t often get from other fantasy comics like this.

Ain’t No Grave 1 - Character surrounded by ghostsImage: Image Comics

Then after such an engrossing journey throughout the entire issue, the final stretch of pages pulls everything together. As I mentioned briefly, the closing page is a fantastic splash that’s both breathtaking and foreboding within the context of the story. It hits like a truck with just two words uttered on the page, making it the perfect cliffhanger ending. After reading it for the first time, I was blown away by how that page beautifully made all the story’s pieces fall into place. While I was already so impressed by everything the debut issue showed, the finale got me even more excited for the series to come. 

Ain’t No Grave 1 - Two characters lying on the grassImage: Image Comics

Final Thoughts

With its emotionally gripping story and gorgeous art, Ain’t No Grave delivers a promising start to a series that’s primed to get darker and crazier from here. It was a treat to see for myself the magic Skottie Young and Jorge Corona can cook up as a creative team. After this one, I’m eager to finally check out the other comics they’ve worked on, especially The Me You Love in the Dark. As far as Ain’t No Grave goes, its debut hit a bullseye for me that secured it a spot on my monthly pull list. I can’t wait to see the series get deeper into its dark story about life and Death.

Why You Should Read Ain’t No Grave

  • This double-length issue has everything you need to get sucked into the comic’s emotional story and supernatural world.
  • The art team of Jorge Corona, Jean-François Beaulieu, and Nate Piekos are phenomenal at bringing life to a dark, gritty, and whimsical world.
  • The issue ends with a killer stinger page that impactfully sets the tone for the series.
TAGGED: Image Comics