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!
Monster and Madman No. 2
The wonderful monster mash-up from Steve Niles continues with issue two (of three). In the last issue, Frankenstein's Monster was found roaming the great frozen wastes immediately following the events of 'Frankenstein'. Now, he's met up with a very helpful doctor in London who goes by the nickname Jack. Seems suspicious, don't you think?
Bag it or board it up? There are so many ways that this comic could end up seeming corny. Oh, Frankenstein's Monster really bumps into Jack the Ripper? Yeah right! But it all works. Maybe it's the hypnotic artwork. Or Steve Niles' pitch-perfect script. Either way, this comic feels real, looks amazing, and is one of my favorites of the season.
Bad Blood No. 4
Trick is a good kid. He's a sick kid, too. Diagnosed with cancer that waffles in and out of remission, Trick lived his life in constant fear of the next blood test. But now he's got bigger things to worry about. An ancient vampire tried to bite Trick, found his cancerous blood poisonous and foul, and is now trying to kill him. The vampire's been disfigured, Trick's being taught how to fight from an old vampire slayer, and soon things are going to get even weirder!
Bag it or board it up? Here's another all-star in my book. This comic takes a fun and popular subject like vampire hunting, and adds this whole new layer with the sickness of the protagonist. Trick is a very sick guy, and it's a struggle to watch him cough and falter. It's a triumph to watch his cancer go into remission. These are things you don't normally get to dive into with genre stories, and it's what makes 'Bad Blood' so special.
Edgar Allan Poe's The Premature Burial
Famed writer/illustrator Richard Corben is back at it with another installment of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. He's already done classic works like 'The Masque of the Read Death' and 'Fall of the House of Usher,' but now he's set his sights on "buried alive" stories. First, he adapts the dizzying 'The Premature Burial' then we see the famous 'The Cask of Amontillado' story in Corben's famous style.
Bag it or board it up? I really like that we get two short adaptations in this comic. Corben seems to have found a kindred spirit in the works of Edgar Allan Poe (hell, who hasn't). These two short stories are filled with vile urges, slighted mad-men, and the plump, wriggling bodies Corben loves to draw. If you're a fan of his work this is another must-have.
Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster No. 3
Lobster Johnson is for all those Batman fans out there who always thought Gotham would be a lot safer if the Bat just went ahead and murdered the Joker. Lobster Johnson is a leather-clad, calling-card-carrying, bad guy murderer. He's vigilante justice with a pistol, not a fist. But now the police are really after him, and as he tries to stop a string of bank robberies all across New York City, he's cornered by the cops and assaulted.
Bag it or board it up? I love a good, old-fashioned 1930's crime comic. And Lobster Johnson is just about as good as it could ever get. The Lobster is a great hero, and we spend most of this issue with his friends, enemies, and those who fall somewhere in between. With very little Lobster action, this isn't the best issue to pick up if you've never read any others, but it's still a damn fine issue, and worth your attention.