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!
Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray No. 5
Fabian Gray is a brave, adventuring treasure hunter who fights against Nazis and sleeps with beautiful women. He's the archetypical Indiana Jones in every way... except for the fact that a powerful artifact he stumbled upon implanted itself in his chest. And also except for the fact that now five ghosts haunt him and give him power. These ghosts (a detective, an archer, a wizard, a samurai, and a vampire) guide and inhibit Fabian as he searches for his lost love. They call this issue "five of five" and it definitely concludes, but there's way more to the story!
Bag it or board it up? I don't like to gush, but this comic is right up my alley! It's as if someone asked me, "Hey, Giaco, how could we make Indiana Jones more awesome?" And then I answered "Oh, with staples of classic literature, ghosts, possession, and magic powers." And then they made this comic. Check it out if your tastes align with mine, and you won't be disappointed. But start from the start for an even better read through!
The Wake No. 3
Everything's gone to hell at the "Ghost Rig." The giant oil rig, kept completely secret and off the radar deep in the arctic circle, uncovered what may be the missing link of mankind. A aquatic being, half-man, half-fish, broke free in the flooding rig and is now preying on the crew! This is not your typical Merman. It's impossibly fast, it stalks its prey, it tears people apart, and it can even make you hallucinate! As the situation looks more and more grim the crew has little choice left but to flee.
Bag it or board it up? Ooh, this is a fun new comic. I love the discovery of this ancient creature, and the way it viciously stalks its prey. I don't want to give too much away, but the way it affects its victim's mind is really new and wild. Here's a comic that would make an amazing little horror flick. It's full of claustrophobia, terror, and suspense! The artwork in this comic is a mix of gritty realism and pencil-thin over-articulation, which makes for a dramatic and vivid scene. This is definitely worth checking out.
House of Gold and Bones No. 4
Corey Taylor, lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour, presents the final chapter in his bizarre tale about a man lost in a warped world. Up until this issue we’ve heard talk of an event coming called The Conflagration. All we knew about it was that it was some type of choice that had to be made. Well, now it’s time to make the choice, and our hero must face his fears, squelch his inner demons, and survive in a twisted and horrible realm he’s created for himself.
Bag it or board it up? This comic has been a roller coaster ride for me. I was originally pleasantly surprised by the book. The first couple issues were weird, vividly imagined, and full of a primal and confusing energy. This issue, the grand finale, just falls short. It doesn’t commit to anything, it offers a very skimpy background for our character, and the final climactic scene is ham-fisted and blatant in its metaphors. An eagle-man and a demon fight in the rafters of a church? Really? In the end we even get a “The End?” This is still one of the weirdest comics out right now, but it feels like “easy weird,” like the type of weird that settlers for invoking a carnival clown or a freakshow to force a reaction from the viewer.
BPRD Vampire No. 5
This is the last chapter in this mini-series about Simon, a man out hunting for the vampires who wronged him. Set in the times of Hellboy’s childhood, this final issue follows Professor Bruttenholm as he sets out to put a stop to Simon’s quest. But Simon, who was up until now the trouble hero of our story, may have gone too far in his bloodlust, and we get to see first hand the mind of a torn man cracked.
Bag it or board it up? This is a sad, exciting ending to a wonderful mini-series. The artwork, as always, is haunting and perfectly fits the mood of the piece. The story comes to a dream-like crescendo here and we, the viewer, are left wanting more. In fact, if I have any complaints about the issue, it’s how clear it is that they’re leading us into the next mini-series. But I’ll read on, it’s a BPRD comic, how could I not?