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 Last of Us: American Dreams No. 3
The Last of Us: American Dreams is the comic prequel to the vastly popular and well-reviewed video game released last week. The comic follows two young girls in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-ridden world. Sheltered by the government, these girls snuck out looking to join a group of rebels. Unfortunately, they finally met exactly what it was that brought the world to its knees.
Bag it or board it up? This comic is so well written I would never have guessed it was a video game tie-in. The emotions that come across the faces of these (admittedly cartoony-looking) kids are quite powerful. There’s an air of sadness even in happy times in this comic. Check it out!
Vincent Price: Museum of the Macabre No. 1
In this first issue of what I assume will be some sort of anthology series, we get a story about an abandoned house in the middle of the woods. The house, currently occupied by some thugs and convicts on the run, was once the home for some foul play. Now bad things begin to happen to the convicts staying in the house... I think.
Bag it or board it up? Slap Vincent Price’s name and likeness on the cover of a horror comic and I guess you’ll sell more copies. This comic is beautifully illustrated, with abstract, quick-line, blue-hue illustrations. But sometimes it’s so abstract that I can’t tell who’s doing what and why they’re doing it. I’m confused, the plot turns in circles... or maybe it doesn’t? Ehh, skip it. There’s some nasty violence against women in it to boot. Yuck. It does not do the likeness of Vincent Price any justice.
All Star Western Featuring Jonah Hex No. 21
Oh Booster Gold. You’re one of my favorite super heroes. The gold-and-blue, time traveling, cocky hero got stuck with Jonah Hex, and after their horse-drawn cart careens off a cliff (awesome) they get flung through space and time. Hex ends up in the future, where a futuristic version of the Caped Crusader comes to put down the crazy southerner with the guns.
Bag it or board it up? Jonah Hex is a weird hero. He’s a little bit racist (well, he’s kind of a lot racist). He’s also portrayed, in this run of the comic, as a Yosemite Sam-type. I liked the last run of Hex, which had him as an “in-over-his-head” cowboy. Now he’s a good ol’ boy who shoots first, hoots and hollers. That’s not the Hex I like.
The Massive: Americana Pt. 1 of 3
Okay, I will freely admit that this is not the type of story that’s going to please everyone who reads this column. But if I’m going to include end-of-the-world stories in these reviews I’d be remiss to ignore the pillar of the genre. The Massive is a realistic end of the world story. There are no monsters, no vampires, no zombie plague. Just tectonic shifts that messed up the entire globe. Now the nastiness of humanity shines through, and the crew of the warship The Kapital (who the story follows) have just made it to an abandoned New York City.
Bag it or board it up? Jump in now if this type of thing appeals to you. I mean, you liked The Road, right? Some issues of the comic are tense and atmospheric, others are moody and plodding, but all issues are fantastically illustrated and written. This is just quality, plain and simple.