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!
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth No. 112
This issue we get more background and story on the psychic named Fenix. She was once able to control fire, and may be able to still or may have lost that power forever. We see her struggle with the loss of her abilities while Johann Krauss makes plans and gets leads on this whole end of the world business. In the end, this is just another few small steps towards a long, wild story.
Bag it or board it up? I love this series, but this issue is definitely "for fans only." Don't pick this up if you want to get into the storyline; it just won't have enough to tether you to page. The action (involving a giant mutated dog) is great, but this issue doesn't take any time to explain what's been happening with the characters. If you are following along, don't miss this issue.
The Poe Murders No. 1
Inspector Dupin comes to a small town at the behest of a woman claiming her husband has been murdered. As he investigates the town he meets a cast of characters that range from jovial to scheming. Someone may have murdered the woman's husband… or he may have run off with another woman. The fact of the matter is that everyone's acting strange in this town and many people begin receiving notes with the word "Nevermore" scrawled on them!
Bag it or board it up? Does this all sound a little familiar? It should! It's based off the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. This indie comic, part of the Comixology Submit program (which gives indie authors a place to show their stuff), may not have all the smooth edges we expect from a good horror comic, but it's still a fun read. The artwork is interesting, a bit off, kind of like folk art in its honest, open-handed presentation. (The publisher is named High School Heroes… are these guys in high school?) The story is all there, even if people speak in stilted voices. You should definitely check this out if you're a Poe fan, but even if not, it's definitely weird enough to interest some of you out there. This is definitely the first time this comic has been available digitally, and as such it's a really easy read.
The Strain: The Fall No. 4
In the latest installment of the vampire epic produced by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the good guys fight back. Okay, so the good guys aren't always so good in these stories, but at least they're not vampires. A group of tough guys start wailing on a pack of vampires, a man is sent on a mission to destroy the subway lines, and lots of things explode.
Bag it or board it up? This is really turning into an epic, moving story. While some may call it long-winded, I think it shines with energy and scope. We've met a large cast of characters by now, but they all seem distinct. Also, look at that cover: that has to be one of the creepiest covers I've seen in a while. All in all this is a good read, even if they are taking their time with the plot.
John Carpenter's Asylum No. 2
A defrocked priest is in over his head as demons attempt to overthrow Los Angeles. In this indie title by one of the true masters of modern horror (John Carpenter is credited with "created by") Lucifer himself is trying to take over the earth. He's starting in L.A. (makes sense to us), and he's getting into the hearts, minds, and bodies of people, twisting and corrupting them.
Bag it or board it up? Even though the story meanders a bit, this is still a beautiful comic. With lots of blood and crazed faces, almost every page is one full illustration that's then cut into panels. The artwork oozes with that newly fashionable hyper-realistic style (where the characters look like photographs of real people), and even though Carpenter has a weird afterword where he congratulates his own book, we like this comic a lot. It's a strange one, for sure, but it'll keep any horror fan reading.