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!
Marvel Zombies Halloween Special
A little boy and his mom survive day-to-day in the Marvel Zombie world. The comic starts normally enough, with the child and mom accustomed to life in the wastes. When the little boy inquires about Halloween, the mom reluctantly dresses him up as a little Wolverine (adorable!) and they begin to go through the motions of the holiday. As things go awry and character zombies begin to wreak havoc, we learn fun things about the mom and her son and are swept up in a quick, fun halloween story.
Bag it or board it up? This comic was a delight to read. How could this comic go wrong? It's full of great zombie action, heart-string pulling dialogue, a cute black cat, and a tiny little Wolverine - all set during Halloween! This comic is fun for followers of Marvel Zombies lore, and it features some B-list characters and a surprise appearance from some serious A-listers.
The Walking Dead No. 103
Things are, as always, looking grim from Rick and friends. The zombies are, as always, the least of their worries. Negan, the worst, most vile baddie this side of the Governor, has already caused mass chaos and heartbreak within Rick's group. He now demands half of everything the good guys (term used extremely loosely and mostly in jest) own, including important drugs and resources. Rick has a plan, but how long must they wait before it fires off?
Bag it or board it up? Oh, The Walking Dead, why do you torment us so? Why is your story so compelling but so damned depressing? It's hard to love a comic that keeps you wanting more, but we know Dead will deliver. And that's the redeeming factor of the comic: even if an issue may feel like stalling or ramping up to a big event, the payoff is always amazing.
Exsanguine No. 1
Neo-Veteran comic author and illustrator Tim Seeley (of Hack/Slash fame) brings a new take on flesh eating baddies in Exsanguine. Focusing on two FBI partners tracking a serial killer, the story weaves in small town social politics and nasty violence. The main focus of the FBI's investigation is a man with a dark secret and ferocious powers, but he's not necessarily the culprit. Or is he? Maybe. So far all seems misty and unclear (and blood-soaked!)
Bag it or board it up? This is a fun small town murder comic written by one of my favorite contemporary horror comic writers. Tim Seeley once again brings the grisly and the blood and the intrigue. I'm usually biased against small town murder settings (I think Twin Peaks did everything that could be done in the setting) but Ex really shows promise.
B.P.R.D. 1948 No. 1
Mike Mignola and gang are back with more Bureau fun, this time set in the late forties. Several old characters return, as well as a four-year-old little red somebody (did you miss him!?) While testing atomic-powered space travel, a group of scientists may have accidentally unleashed a giant, tentacled, flying terror that snatches hapless cops up and away. That's where the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense comes in.
Bag it or board it up? There's nothing wrong with an atomic-fueled paranormal story that takes place in post-war times. The Mignola crew continues to churn out stories and books at an astonishing rate, and one wonders how potent each story can really be. But this comic, written by Mike, pulses with an antiquated threat that feels equal parts real and not-of-this-time.