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!
Ten Grand No. 5
Joe Fitzgerald used to be a mob hit man. He's killed lots of people before he and the love of his life died in a hail of bullets. For reasons he can't quite explain he's been given a second chance at life… sort of. Every time he dies fighting for a "righteous cause" he gets to see his love (who's in heaven, we think) for five minutes. In this issue, Joe heads to Purgatory to find his way to Hell where he believes his wife has been taken.
Bag it or board it up? This series used to be illustrated by Ben Templesmith, but Templesmith seems to have backed out of the comic due to overwhelming other commitments and, lucky for us, C.P. Smith has stepped in to work his multi-media, clean-foreground messy-background magic. This is a fun comic. It is another case of "surly know-it-all anti-hero" but I guess that's just the industry standard these days. So overall this is a good read, check it out.
Judge Dredd Classics No. 5
The classic 2000 AD comics of Dredd are getting a lovely, colorized reprint. This comic picks up right in the middle of The Apocalypse War. Where an all out war between the Eastern Bloc, Soviet-inspired East-Meg One fights Judge Dredd's Mega-City one. Judge Dredd is on the move in these short snippets, fighting against the weather, the bad guys, and the destruction that blooms around him.
Bag it or board it up? Yep, colorization is all the rage these days and we're lucky to have it so carefully applied to this comic. This is a fun, chaotic, hard-to-follow comic. I've been reading a lot of new Judge Dredd comics, and while they are fun and gory and silly they don't have this "off the rails" feeling. Old Judge Dredd was insane. Sometimes inappropriate, sometimes silly, sometimes confusing. It really felt like an independent comic. Definitely worth your time.
Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight No. 2
In the second installment of the "feature film" Bee Vixens From Mars, a tough cop has to battle off hordes of mutated Bee Vixens. Half seductive woman, half bee monster, these creatures have been mutated by martian honey. Try as they might to sting and slash at her, she's able to escape them. But when they pursue, will she have what it takes to kill the Queen Bee?
Bag it or board it up? This series is all about exploitation, violence, gratuitous sexiness, and everything else that makes a grind house movie special. I'm more interested in the structure of this comic series than this individual comic. This issue wrapped up a "movie" and next issue will feature a new "movie." There are also "trailers" for other comics that we may or may not see in this series. It's a great, grimy idea for a comic. I'd say it's worth following just for its structure.
The Occultist No. 2
Rob Bailey is a college student in possession of a book called "The Sword" that gives him unlimited magical powers. This issue he meets up with a fellow student at a catholic school. This student has found the secrets to planar travel, and she and her friends take Rob on a joyride through the galaxy and to the gates of death itself.
Bag it or board it up? There's not a whole bunch that actually happens in this comic. It's fun, and it has a fairly interesting take on planar travel (although the comic Witch Doctor already tread a lot of this ground), but there's not enough here for me to recommend this issue (even though this is written by one of my genre favorites, Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley). If you're following along already then this is a fun read, but let's wait and see issue three before I go recommending this to you for good.