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.
Ghostbusters: Haunted America, Part 3
Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston are on a cross-country American roadtrip to find, subdue and trap ghosts at key landmarks. This issue brings them to Roswell, where the ghosts of aliens haunt the locals. The comic is very family friendly, and it offers up some good jokes, a meeting with a Fox Mulder-esque FBI agent (and his sullen female partner), and a fun little self contained plot.
Bag it or board it up? If you've got a kid you need this comic. If you don't have a kid, but like the Ghostbusters, then you'll probably love this comic, too. The artwork is very cartoony, but that adds to the overall levity of the comic. This issue needs no back-reading, research, or catching up to understand what's going on. If you know who the Ghostbusters are then you understand what they're up to. Bag it!
Clive Barker's Hellraiser #16
This week's issue of Hellraiser is not for the new initiate (like myself). The story up to this point seems interesting enough. Pinhead, tired of lording over lusty hell, escapes and traps the only person who could ever beat the Cenobites: Kirsty Cotton. Now she, trapped in something called The Leviathan, deals with all types of emotional issues. Also, the military is preparing for the coming of a god-like entity that wants to wipe out the world. The action all seems to build to a massive event (probably the next issue).
Bag it or board it up? Well, the artwork is very nice in this book. And the final page of this comic is spectacular and makes me want to backtrack and keep up with upcoming issues. But this is not for someone who is not familiar with the franchise and not caught up on these comics. It is really classic Clive Barker: if you're in for the ride you'll love it, but jump aboard a Barker project too late and you'll be as confused as Kirsty was when she first met Pinhead. Board it up (and wait for the inevitable trade paperback).
I, Vampire #11
Hard to believe this is coming out from DC comics (but you won't hear us complaining). This is part of DC's "New 52" program that they rolled out last September. Fifty two new comics, covering everything from Batman and Superman to westerns, creepy tales, and I, Vampire. The protagonist of this story was "reincarnated with magical powers drained from the Justice League Dark." Now he is trying to be the messiah to all vampires. In the previous issue, Vampire Killers met with our hero and his cronies and suicide bombed themselves, rising again as zombies. In this issue it's an all out war between zombies (or mummies, as the narrator keeps correcting himself) and vampires.
Bag it or board it up? Did you not just hear me? An all out war between zombies and vampires. Bag it, duh!
Crossed: Badlands #10
Crossed is a bad, bad, bad comic book. It is not for kids. It's barely even for adults. It is brutal, violent, morally bankrupt, sad, and gruesome. So naturally I’m a big fan. The Crossed virus sweeps across parts of the country, turning anyone infected into a blood-crazed psychopath who wants only to mutilate, rape, kill, and burn. This issue features a scaredy-cat recent high school grad who goes to the circus with his father and little brother. What could go wrong, right?
Bag it or board it up? This comic definitely plays off of the other issues in the series, but does a great job of telling a self-contained narrative. But again, this is not for the squeamish or easily offended. The artwork, as always, is thin line and rather simplistic until the blood starts flowing. Then the gory details (i.e. intestines) are lovingly rendered. Bag it - in your favorite barf bag.