Bagged and Boarded Comic Reviews: Hellraiser, The Goon, 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!

Hellraiser No. 20

The end of the world is upon us! A giant cenobite made of pure energy rambles to himself in the middle of the ocean while the crew of a navy ship work together with another female cenobite to thwart the end of all humanity. By saving Kirsty Cotton's life (who is now also a cenobite) the team is able to come up with a plan to stop the energy-bite.

Bag it or board it up?
This issue of Hellraiser, like most I've read, is baffling to behold if you haven't kept up with the back-issues. But, this issue is graphically beautiful and action packed. It's the end of a huge arc, so of course the book won't hold your hand as you stumble through its plot. If you're into Hellraiser enough to want to pick up this book, you've probably already read the comics that came before it.

The Goon No. 43
A traveling sideshow of "biological curiosities" comes to town with a living but mummified mutated baby. When the baby misses his fateful halloween feeding (a bottle mother's milk and goat blood) he comes to life, transforming into a terrible monster that The Goon and Franky must defeat or risk death.

Bag it or board it up?
I have a confession to make. I'm one of those horror comic readers who never read The Goon. I was aware of it peripherally, I knew they were doing a kickstarter to raise money for the movie, I knew it had a horror/supernatural slant. I just never gave it a shot. Damn! This is a fun comic. Funny, gory, sweet, nasty, it covers it all. It's like Bone with way more punching and guts and monsters! I feel foolish for missing out on this comic for so long, and I'll be coming back for each issue.

Dark Shadows No. 10

Barnabas wears an amulet that has taken away his vampirism. This is big news for the dark dude. He hungers for food and water. He can walk in the daylight. He is warm to the touch. But things aren't all roses and the promise of death for Barnabas. There was a cost to his freedom, and now he's out to set it right.

Bag it or board it up?
Though you wouldn't expect it from a Dark Shadows franchise, this comic is one of the most serious and straightforward vampire comics out today. It's very good, it's pacing and mood are pitch perfect, and it sets out to do one thing: tell a good vampire tale. If you're a fan of  bloodsuckers, you should give the Dark Shadows comics a shot.

Baltimore: The Play

This one-shot takes place in Verona, Italy in 1917. A theater director puts on a gory play about the plague that surrounds the city, and he casts real "revenants" (vampires) in many of the leading roles. Meanwhile the financier of the play is the leader of the undead, and discovers that the director has been getting his inspiration (and all the lines of the play) from a very surprising source! Spoiling it would ruin all the fun of the comic, but when the actual writer of the play is revealed it's quite the surprise.

Bag it or board it up?
I don't ask for much in my comics. Give me a little bit of gore, some interesting artwork, and a succinct story and I'll be good to go. Thank you, Baltimore: The Play, you've given me all I could ask for and more! The artwork in this book is so lovely, so stylized and precise, that I didn't want to stop looking at it. Too bad the words on the pages were so compelling that I had to keep turning. I'm not the type to gush, but check this comic out. Pick of the week, for sure.