Bagged and Boarded Comic Reviews: Morbius, Hellboy and More


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!

Morbius Comic BookMorbius: The Living Vampire No. 1
Picking up after events in Spider-man, this comic focuses solely on the scientist-turned-vampire Michael Morbius. This first issue lays down the laws of his vampiric universe. We get a check list of what kills him, what doesn't kill him, and how he feels about being a living bloodsucker. And we get right into a story about him versus a bunch of thugs in a bad neighborhood of New York.'

Bag it or board it up?
This is a fun comic. This is not the typical, sappy vampire comic. Like many other pillars of the modern vampire comic (30 Days of Night, American Vampire) this comic takes itself seriously. It's full of wit, fast paced Marvel-action, and even a bit of blood. Keep a blood-red, glowing, Morbius-style eye on this one.

Hellboy Comic Book
Hellboy in Hell No. 2

Hellboy, now dearly departed, continues his journey through hell. This issue he sees things like the city of Pandemonium… now abandoned. He also passes the River Cocytus where he sees how the army of hell (that would be his to command if he wanted it) is forged. His guided then trades him off to another, and we see the actual birthplace of Hellboy!

Bag it or board it up?
This story is a dream come true for any Hellboy fan, but while reading this issue I realized… the story's not what's really shining here.The artwork in this comic, the use of color in a sea of darkness, is spellbinding. Mike Mignola's artwork in this comic is, at times, astonishing to behold. And the coloring by Dave Stewart is the best I've seen in a long time. Get this comic, get it now.

Vincent Price Comic BookVincent Price's House of Horrors No. 4
Vincent Price plays the star of a story in this comic. But seeing as he passed away in 1993 it's really just a cash grab using his likeness. The story told in this comic, all at once, is the classic "Build a Better Mousetrap" story about test mice that keep getting smarter and smarter. It's a fine little story in this short comic. But...

Bag it or board it up?
This comic is bizarre. I like the classic tale, but the artwork is clunky and awkward looking. Also, it's incredibly anachronistic. Seeing an illustration of Vincent Price tapping away at a computer just feels wrong. It's almost as bad as seeing a word bubble coming out of his mouth with him saying the word "iPhone" (yes, really). A fine story but I'm not digging the ugly artwork and the techno-upgrade to the story.

Colder Comic BookColder No. 3
Declan is the once-crazy, near-frozen gateway to a psychic realm. He and his caregiver Reece are hunted by a psychotic named Nimble Jack, who feasts on insanity. In this issue, the two run from nimble jack and have to dive into the chaotic world of insanity. But doing so pushes Reece's stable mind a bit too far, and we see the beginnings of a collapse between the world of chaotic insanity and our world. It's a lot to follow, and it moves quick, but this plot is truly inventive.

Bag it or board it up?
This is, overall, a deeply interesting and fun comic about insanity. The artwork is beautiful, and the storyline is unlike anything I've read before. But though I do enjoy this comic quite a bit, the "crazy" in this comic is beginning to feel a bit like mass-market crazy. The phrases crazy people in this issue blurt out when driven further insane feel a little too easy in a way that's hard to explain. The writer just grabs words and throws them together, and the insane people in this comic don't end up sounding insane, they end up sounding like a person pretending to be insane. It's a fine line to walk, and it's a lot to pull off, but that's the danger of doing a comic about insanity. Regardless, this is a fun comic with a lot going for it, and worth a read.