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!
Dark Shadows/Vampirella Issue No.1
It's the undead team-up you've been... um... waiting for? Have you been waiting your whole life for Barnabas Collins and Vampirella to join forces? I must admit, the thought hadn't crossed my mind before. But hey, why not? An evil vampire woman bides her time through the ages before striking out in New York City. Barnabas feels compelled to protect the ancestors of his earliest victims, so when the great great granddaughter of a woman he killed is abducted, he ships off to NYC. Vampirella, being the resident sexy vampire badass that she is, already lives in New York and is on the same case. Will they team up? Will they butt heads? Will Dynamite Comics make use of two properties for the price of one? Find out in the next installment of *yawn*
Bag it or board it up? Unless you really love Vampirella or the Dark Shadows franchise, there's not much going on here. The art is very modern (read: bland) and the story has potential. But I recommend waiting a few weeks to see how this series develops. I'll admit, it could be an interesting match-up, even if it does feel like a cheap shot.
iZOMBIE Issue No. 28
It's the end of an era. The awesome, quirky story of Gwen Dylan comes to a close with this issue. SPOILERS AHEAD: In a world full of beasts, vampires, ghosts and revenants (undead but fully conscious people, like our hero Gwen) the "monster of all monsters," a Cthulhu-like inter-dimensional soul sucker named Xitalu, ripped through the stars and is ready to consume the world. Gwen has a plan to save the world, but it could involve sacrificing everyone she holds dear. This is an epic ending to a quiet comic, and it blends all it's genres and influences beautifully.
Bag it or board it up? If you've never read iZOMBIE, but you like your horror with a down-played, slow tempo hipster-tinge (not judging; I know I sure do) you should pick up issue 1 and start from the beginning. If you've been following along I don't think it would matter whether I recommended you bagging it or boarding it up, you'd just have to get it. That being said, yes, this rules, get it.
Deadworld: War of the Dead No. 1
The Deadworld series is one of the granddads of the zombie comic world. All the stories take place in a world where a supernatural holocaust has turned most of the world into zombies. Standard fare, until you factor in King Zombie. A rad dude with aviator sunglasses and rotting flesh, King Zombie commands his minions as they overrun the world. In the new series from IDW we don't see much of him in issue 1, but his name gets dropped a lot. This story is a general tale of survival, focusing on a varied group of humans and half-zombies.
Bag it or board it up? Sigh. This is not much like its predecessors. This whole comic has a grim, end of the world, wasteland feel. Unfortunately it just comes across like the authors of this new series have a serious boner for Walking Dead (who doesn't?) and the artist is copying off of Ben Templesmith (of 30 Days of Night fame) pretty hard. The original series was wild, messy, raw and, at times, bitterly funny. This new series is all business and, unfortunately, it's business as usual.
Infected Issue No. 1
Bio-terror horror fans rejoice! This brand new comic from IDW sets the pace immediately. The tension is real and fierce as an airborne contagion infects a tiny portion of the U.S. population and turns them into homicidal, deteriorating maniacs. We follow a few members of the C.I.A. and the next guy who's been infected. He doesn't realize it, scratches at a few "bug bites" and surprises himself with bursts of anger. We also get to follow the lab technicians as they study samples of the virus.
Bag it or board it up? This is like Outbreak meets Se7en meets Crossed (that effed up comic I reviewed last week). I'm digging it. They play it a bit safe with the art, but the story is engrossing from panel one. As far as contamination stories go, this comic could end up offering a unique, multi-faceted view along the lines of a good Michael Crichton thriller. Expect to get to know your coppers, your scientists, and your killers. Hell, in this issue we already get to know the biological workings of the disease itself!