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Review

Bagged and Boarded Comic Reviews: Mystery Society, a Young Judge Dredd, and More

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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!

Mystery Society Special 2013
A group of investigators go to a secret lair in the bottom of the ocean to trade Edgar Allen Poe's skull for the freedom of some strange prisoners. The investigating group includes an undead woman, two twin girls who can teleport people, and the brain of Jules Verne in a golden robot body (yes, for real). Once down in this hidden lair, they have to fight for the freedom of some very interesting and famous characters from the annals of horror.

Bag it or board it up?
Man, I really wish I could just spoil who they try to free. But you've got to get this issue and read it. Apparently this was a five-issue comic that came out in 2010, but this year we get a special issue. Bring this back to full time! This comic is hilarious, witty, smart, and effortlessly cool. If you like your comics as hip as you are, you should read this issue!

Judge Dredd Year One
The title says it all. The famous Judge in his first year of service tackling cases in the most dangerous city ever imagined. This go around, he's tangling with a group of kids who have latent psychic abilities and are tearing the city apart with them. Whether it's a small child who can make her toys fly at blazing speeds, or a kid who can rip a man apart with his mind, the trouble is mounting for Dredd.

Bag it or board it up?
As a story, I really like this issue. As a concept, I don't think the idea of a "Year One" really makes sense for Dredd. The problem with this depiction of a young Dredd is that he's not really stumbling at all. Where are the growing pains? Where is the learning curve? Dredd seems no different at year one than he does in his prime. He's still a badass, he still seems perfect at his job, so what's the big difference?

B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: A Cold Day in Hell Part 1 of 2
All hell has officially broken loose in the B.P.R.D. world. Monsters are coming out of cracks in the ground all over the world. The small ones, in cockroach-esque hordes, are about the size of a minivan. The big monsters are really big. Now the B.P.R.D. has to team up with their sometimes-unscrupulous Russian peers. But all the commanders are interested in is a small radio station in the middle of the great white expanse.

 

Bag it or board it up?
I don't mean to be predictable. Really. Know that I wouldn't keep recommending a series if it wasn't worth it. But damn, these B.P.R.D. comics just keep delivering the goods. This issue is a great new jumping off point for new readers. Don't know anything about anything? That's okay, you should be fine with this issue.

 

Wild Rover and the Sacrifice
l couldn't tell from the title or cover, but this was two comics in one! Cool! The first comic, Wild Rover, centers around Shane, an alcoholic nearing rock-bottom, who's dead mother speaks to him. She, too, was an alcoholic, and she tells him he needs to drink to call forth a drink demon who he can then destroy. So he's drinking in America to bring forth the Bourbon Demon, and his travels will take him all over the world to fight Wine, Vodka, and so on! The second comic, The Sacrifice, is a short, visual fantasy tale about a daunting climb up a sword-laden tree.

Bag it or board it up?
You'll certainly get your money's worth out of this comic. Two very fun, very well done, and very different stories are told in this issue. The first is for the exposition lovers. There's a lot of text here, but luckily it all reads like (dark) poetry. I thought, while flipping the pages, that I probably could have enjoyed this story even without the illustrations. I'd like to see more of his drink destroying adventures all around the world. The second comic was quite the opposite. Almost no dialogue or exposition, just lush, lush illustrations in a bright-lit fantasy world. Both were very well done!

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