Bagged and Boarded Comic Reviews: Frankenstein, Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula, 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!

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. No. 16

A group of bio-terrorists intent on changing the world launch a dirty bomb on Central City. These freaks, powered up by mutagens found in Victor Frankenstein's castle, don't stand a chance against Frank and his fellow S.H.A.D.E. agents in this thrilling story. The narrative is framed through the eyes of an intelligence agent for the government who's been tracking the terrorists. We get a fun perspective on the events of the issue as all this agent's hard work gets wiped away by a band of monsters.

Bag it or board it up? I really enjoyed this issue. This is what a comic like Frankenstein needs: a sort of "business as usual" issue showing the S.H.A.D.E. agents doing what they do best. New readers can jump right into this issue without feeling confused or off-track. It's just a bunch of cool monster-heroes fighting punks and baddies.

Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness No. 4 of 4

Whew! What a title. This final issue in the awesome Orm of Loch Ness storyline has Billy the Kid and St. Anthony delving deep into the lair of Dracula. Dracula is a giant red snake worm monster who can shrink himself down to human/vampire size. Billy the Kid makes crack-shot jokes at it, and even gives a fitful and awkward prayer to the lord above for help.

Bag it or board it up? Yeehaw! (Sorry, I had to.) This is a great comic. Full of monster-slaying action, punchy dialogue, and a protagonist I can never get sick of. Billy the Kid really shines through as a protagonist in this series that never takes titles like "protagonist" too seriously. This is a fun one, guys and gals, and you don't have to read the earlier three issues to enjoy it.

Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters

While intercepting a radio transmission of War of the Worlds in the 1930's, a saucer of Martian scouts thinks they weren't invited to the alien attack and speeds towards Earth. Finding nothing but people listening to their radios they realize they've been duped and attempt to escape, but when their ship fails, they plummet to Earth and die underground in New Jersey. Cut to present day, and the Ghostbusters have to fight the angry Martian ghosts.

Bag it or board it up? No, I'm not picking on Mars Attacks comics. I know I hated the KISS crossover I reviewed last week. But I'm a sucker for anything Ghostbusters, so I had to give this a read… if only to see just how much I was going to hate it. And… I loved it! This comic is super fun, makes a lot of sense (which the KISS comic certainly did not), has levity, awesome action, and is very well written. This is, by far, the best Mars Attacks comic I've ever read (a bar that is set admittedly low.)

Jennifer Blood No. 21

Jennifer Blood is on trial for the various murders she's famous for. Her defense attests that she's crazy. We see some background to the story, and it picks up right when things start to get nasty for Blood, right after the death of her husband. The police in the small town in which she kept a low profile are sniffing around… and then a team of assassins strike down upon her and her family.

Bag it or board it up? This comic is very stylized and has a lot of high octane action. But, the writing can be a little lack-luster (or even downright corny) at times. The story is on target, but I need to rant for a moment. Comic book illustrators, please listen. I know you want to sell comics to boys but please: the gratuitous cleavage shots, from every conceivable angle, aren't making me crazy for your comic. They aren't the "selling point" for me and all of my mature friends who read comics. They're making me think you don't know how to tell a story so you objectify your strong female protagonist. Please, don't objectify your strong protagonist, okay? Rant over.