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 Walking Dead No. 124
Rick and his merry crew of survivors are trying to regroup after a nasty battle. This is your classic good vs. evil showdown with the zombies of The Walking Dead as little more than background noise. The ever-vile Negan and his followers have been putting pressure on the beleaguered "good guys." In this issue Negan's going for the final push, but the survivors hit back.
Bag it or board it up? This issue is another delivery on the promise of "All Out War" the covers have been screaming for the last few months. Full of action and treachery, this issue is damn fun (and damn stressful). The ingenious plot device of the villains rubbing zombie guts on their weapons shines in this month's story. I don't recommend jumping right in with this issue, but if you've been semi-following along you must read this comic.
Godzilla: Rulers of Earth No. 10
Here's a comic for the Kaiju fans out there! Two big humanoid monsters - vaguely King Kong, but with scales - duke it out in Australia. They're brothers, they seem to be in some monstrous quarrel, and then guess who shows up to give his input: Godzilla. Now it's a three-way battle royale as the armed forces try to stun, incapacitate, and transfer the beasts to a safe "Monster Island." What about this sounds like a good idea?
Bag it or board it up? Writer Chris Mowry only has to do half the work in this comic full of power slams, monster screams, and explosions. It's a good old fashioned Kaiju slug-fest, and if you're into that sort of thing you'll be into this comic. If you're not a dedicated giant monster fan you'll find this story weak, somewhat-floundering, and difficult to follow.
All New Ghost Rider No. 1
Marvel brings a new story, and a new protagonist, to the Ghost Rider franchise. Meet Robbie Reyes, a good kid and auto-mechanic living in East Los Angeles. His younger brother Gabe is in a wheelchair and constantly heckled by neighborhood gang members. The rough and tumble city that they call home is beleaguered with gang warfare and crime. When Robbie "borrows" a car he's been working on to go street racing, hoping to win fifty thousand dollars, he gets more than he bargained for. And so his hellish journey begins.
Bag it or board it up? Wow. If all reboots were this good I'd say we needed a start over button pushed yearly. This comic really shines in a number of ways. The world feels real, which Marvel's always been pretty good at. There are guns and gang fights, people are unfair to each other, and slang and slurs get thrown around with alarming alacrity. The bad guys seem terrible, and I can't wait for the Rider's justice. This promises to be a gory, bloody, knock down drag out kind of comic, and I'm all in.
Ghostbusters No. 14
This second part of the "Mass Hysteria" plot line shows the emergence of Tiamat, the goddess of chaos and sister to Gozer. She's beginning to cast her gaze on the Ghostbusters and it's making New York City get a little weirder. As the 'busters continue to inspect the supernatural cars float in the streets and it rains blood. Gross, right?
Bag it or board it up? This is a fun issue of a sometimes-childish comic. The goofy humor lacks the sardonic wit of the original two movies, but it does capture some of the madcap glee the Ghostbusters cartoon from the nineties pulled off so well. This issue is a fun read, mostly family friendly, and honors the legacy of the Ghostbusters. On a side note: It's a little sad to see Egon illustrated, still looking like the late, great Harold Ramis. His stories, not just the ones involving the busting of ghosts, continue to ignite the imaginations of the off-kilter all over the world. He's missed, and remembered well in these comics.