New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!
Batman No. 17
This issue concludes the stunning, disturbing "Death of the Family" storyline. The Joker, with his own sliced-off face sewn back onto his head, has Batman and all his loved ones captured and at the mercy of his maniacal whims. There's so much that goes on in these twenty-some pages it would be a shame to spoil anything more. But the stakes are as high as they've ever been, and The Joker has truly and completely lost his mind at this point.
Bag it or board it up? The Joker is a scary, twisted maniac. He's always been so. But this run of comics featuring everyone's favorite nut job is different. He's vile, brutal, and romanticizing his relationship with Batman. He's gleefully violent, perverse, and darker than ever. You get the sense that this Joker is just plain mad. Pissed off. And it makes for a stunning, dark, twisted issue. If you're starting here… don't. Go back, read from the beginning of this run. It's the pinnacle of dark superhero comics.
Bedlam No. 4
A group of detectives and a superhero attempt to get to the bottom of a series of ritualistic killings. The murder of a young priest (found in his tub, burned to death) spurs the group to action and unlocks another clue to the larger mystery. If you've been following the series, this issue is a serious turning point.
Bag it or board it up? I'm a fan of this style of artwork. It's quick, evocative, and gritty. The story, though I admit that I'm coming in in the middle, is very gripping. I went back and bought the back issues, and now I'm a convert. This is perfect for fans of Silence of the Lambs and that awesome Batman spin-off Gotham Central. There's so much to like in this series. Get on it.
The Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin No. 2
Wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden has no time to recover from the events of the last run of comics (where he and his loved ones are attacked by werewolves). He's on a new job in a small town, hunting down an evil Goblin who's escaped from the Nevernever to wreak havoc on the natural world. With an election looming, and strange individuals all vying for power, there's a lot of ground Harry has to cover.
Bag it or board it up? What can I say? I'm a sucker for The Dresden Files. It merges my love of the fantasy genre, my love of detective stories, and my love of horror. This comic is awesome, written by the author of the books, and packed with the flavor and punchiness they're so well known for. This comic is action packed, kind of gory, and plain old awesome.
The Walking Dead No. 107
Negan has Rick's son. Rick is freaked out. The two fight. Simple, right? After the vile, horrible Negan shows promise as a reasonable man, Rick sets some dark plans into motion. Consumed with the need to keep his people alive, Rick is planning a covert strike against this villain of all villains.
Bag it or board it up? How can a comic make me feel so conflicted? The story is so amazing, but you get so little month to month. The Walking Dead lover in me says buy this comic right now. But the writer/storyteller/story-lover in me says wait for the trades to come out. It's such a story-tease. But it's also so damned good.