Bagged and Boarded Comic Reviews: The Crow, Emily Strange, and more



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!

The Crow: Death and Rebirth

I reviewed a single issue in this comic series all the way back in August, but this week marked the release of the entire short run in one place, and it's worth looking at again. This is a new take on the classic Crow franchise, where the black-and-white vengeful spirit gets revenge on those who wronged him. This time, it takes place in a near-future Japan, and a technology corporation has found a way to push people's souls out of their bodies. Our main character, Jamie, sets out as the Crow on a mission of revenge after he loses his life and his fiance's soul gets the old heave-ho.

Bag it or board it up? I really like this series. It's got a great new setting for The Crow franchise, and it jives well with the staples of the original comics, films, and various other media. It's hyper-active, gory, buzzing with neons amidst darker hues, and dripping with atmosphere. The story is an interesting take on the tale, and hardcore The Crow fans will definitely want to take note and check this out.

Emily and the Strangers No. 2

Now that everyone's favorite kindergarten goth won a magical guitar, she has to form a band with other kids her age. There's the rigid, classically trained pianist playing guitar, there's the punk-lover making noise, there's the classical jazz enthusiast, Emily on the magic guitar, and a robot playing drums. Should sound perfect, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Bag it or board it up? Emily and the Strangers may have a simple plot for adults, but this really is an awesome comic for your kid who's growing up in a horror household. She's moody, bossy, bratty, and will (probably) learn a meaningful message about listening to others and working in a team by the end of this comic run. The artwork is sweet and spooky, the concept of teamwork is strong, and all in all no one gives a better message to freaky kids than Emily Strange. If you have little monsters at home, pick these comics up for them.

Buddy Cops

Okay, here goes… A space cop with a jetpack and a laser sword became thoroughly alcoholic and was demoted down to the NYPD. There he's teamed up with an uptight android from the 1970's, designed to uphold the law to its most finite detail. The space cop, Uranus, is still a drunk. The android, T.A.Z.E.R., is still uptight. They fight giant monsters in New York City. It is, generally speaking, totally insane.

Bag it or board it up? This comic is bananas. It is frenetic, juvenile, pop-culture obsessed, and… kind of awesome. Uranus is a wild man, unsheathing his laser sword while blasting off into the face of giant monsters. He also quotes Wu-Tang Clan and pesters his robotic partner (asking him if he's attracted to toasters). This one shot is crazy, and may not be for everyone, but it's pretty funny and it seems like a miracle that it ever got printed. Check it out.

The New Ghostbusters No. 2

With the "Real" Ghostbusters (Ray, Egon, Winston, and Peter) trapped in Limbo, it's up to Janine and three new, young upstarts to serve as acting Ghostbusters. In this issue, they come across the ghost of a Central Park serial killer, who hopes to kill again on the anniversary of his original attacks. We also see Egon and Co. try to escape from Limbo as the new Ghostbusters have to deal with new uniforms, government bureaucracy, and… of course… a nasty ghost.

Bag it or board it up? I love that this fun, lighthearted comic has such strong, awesome female characters in it. After wearing the skimpy uniforms given to them by the government the girls of the team show their government official how cut and scraped their legs are, and call out the sexism in sexy costumes! What a cool, unexpected bit of progressive writing. The actual ghost busting in this episode is light, but they're setting the stage. I'll be checking back in with this series for sure.