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!
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9 No. 25
This is it! The final, climactic battle to plant the seed of magic. If the heroes can pull it off they will once again restore magic to the world. But they're deep in a pit, fighting a giant bat-monster, and an evil anti-slayer, or at least a dude who seriously wants Buffy dead, is standing between them. Can they defeat the villains and escape before it all detonates in their faces?
Bag it or board it up? The action in these Buffy comics are so high-octane it's no wonder the series has survived on paper. This is good fun. Good, silly, exciting, snarky fun. I'm most impressed with the fact that they can still hold onto the flavor of the series while huge, climactic, end of the world stuff is going on at the same time. It's a careful balancing act they pull of gracefully.
Brain Boy No. 1
Matt Price is the world's most gifted telepath. He's been trained since childhood to hone his skills, and now works as a contractor for the government. Most of the time he plays babysitter to dignitaries while scanning the area for psychic clues to danger. But in this thrilling first issue, the telepath is forced into a panic when his client goes missing. He can levitate, he can read your mind, he's brilliant… but don't call him Brain Boy.
Bag it or board it up? It's always nice to jump in on a first issue. And this is definitely a first issue worth jumping in on. The action is great, the artwork is clean and evocative, and the storyline is weird, creepy, and wonderful. This is spy stuff the way we like it… way off-kilter! Based on a series from the 1960's, this revamp is full of mind-melting fun! It's like Scanners meets Skyfall.
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd
The martians from Mars Attacks can't help but invade all other franchises owned by IDW. This mini-series shows them bustling into Mega-City and infiltrating a local mafia. With Judge Dredd on the case he's bound to punch and shoot his way into trouble over his head and pay-grade. But when you're a judge sometimes you've gotta bust some martian brains, right?
Bag it or board it up? Ooh, I usually really dislike these Mars Attacks crossovers. But this is everything I want in a comic. For real! The action is amped up in this comic. And it seems like the martians and the Judge are just made for each other. Also, the artwork on this issue (by John McCrea, of The Demon and Hitman fame) so perfectly matches the mood of the comic, and is so wonderfully, carefully executed. I, for the first time in a long time, highly recommend this crossover.
Locke & Key: Alpha No. 1
This is the end. It's all over here. There's a lot of action left in this horror mainstay. With just a few more issues left to tell the six-year-long story started by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, it's all out there in the open. The Omega Key has turned in the Black Door, all hell's breaking loose, and you're favorite characters are in deep, deep sh*t. This is the beginning of the end, as the cover exclaims, and it's going to be awesome.
Bag it or board it up? Reading this issue, I feel much the same way I felt when iZombie ended. I'm sad to see a comic I really enjoy coming to a close, but I'm so happy that the creators have had the time to tell the story they want. This isn't a surprise cancellation of the comic, this isn't the rug getting pulled out from under the creators, this is a purposeful end to a wonderful comic. Check it out, pay your respects.
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