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!
Judge Dredd Year One No. 3
Judge Dredd has been sent to a parallel version of his home city to find out what drove youthful rioters into a killing frenzy. In his world, disenfranchised teens began developing psychic powers. Whoever is behind their psychic ascendance must have done it elsewhere, and by creating a dimensional rift, Dredd is able to scope out the problem from a very different perspective.
Bag it or board it up? Drokk that was a good issue! Damn! The action was intense, the plot is weaving into places normal Dredd plots don’t go, and the introduction of Terri Hopper as a foil to Dredd is perfect. This issue really puts a spin on the classic Judge Dredd story. Instead of guns blazing, the heroes are on the run from a much more powerful, chaotic foe!
The X-Files Season Ten No. 1b
Yes. For real. The X-Files gets the Buffy treatment this week as the series is extended into comic book format! So for all of you who still want to believe, now’s a hell of a time to jump back in. This issue sees Scully and Mulder in witness protection, going about a fairly normal life. Guess who wants to ruin all that? If you guessed shadowy figures who can get inside your mind... congrats! You win!
Bag it or board it up? Not a lot happens in this issue considering it’s a first issue, but I’ll forgive that because it’s X-Files! The creepy villain du jour hasn’t seen enough screen time for me to judge whether it deserves being an X-Files problem, but I’m giving it a few issues to really blow me away. So far, so good.
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher No. 2 of 2
2012 Eisner Hall of Fame inductee Richard Corben finishes his two part tale with this issue. The story follows a man named Allan visiting his friend Roderick in the countryside. Roderick has nearly killed his sister by sucking her life force out while painting her portrait. Now, sealed away in a crypt, she’s essentially dead unless Allan can help. And as a terrible storm crashes down on the decaying House of Usher it’s only a matter of time before everything comes crumbling down.
Bag it or board it up? You probably won’t see anything else like this ever again. It’s a simple as that. The ham-fisted fight scenes, the beefy, awkward bodies, the grotesque musculature and nudity distorted... it all adds up to a heady mixture of beauty and deformity. This is art, not just a well-drawn tale. Find it, and find the first issue.
Baltimore: The Inquisitor
The Hellboy gang are at it again with another strange, wonderful entry into the Baltimore series. Baltimore, the titular vampire/demon/monster destroyer, receives a letter from a friend. His friend, imprisoned and questioned by a grand inquisitor, is almost judged unworthy and evil by his pious oppressor. The inquisitor, a holy man who smites evil as he sees fit, regales his prisoner with tales of his upbringing as we the audience are left with mounting dread.
Bag it or board it up? This is such a nice, serialized story. If you missed a few issues don’t worry, you catch right up as you read along. This is a great issue questioning faith and the nature of sacrifice amidst evil. It’s a great read, and worth checking out.