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!
Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy No. 1
One year after the events of the original film, in a plot line unrelated to the characters therein, a new Terminator zaps into the past. He's a bulky dude, a T-800 to be sure, and he's after a scientist who's discoveries could destroy Skynet. But without Kyle Reese to send back to protect the scientist, what will she do when this hulking monstrosity comes for her?
Bag it or board it up? Ever since the T-1000, we've expected bigger and better from the Terminator franchise. We want more advanced robots. We want bigger explosions. We want scarier villains. But, with this new run of comics, we're brought back to the gritty, ground-level terror the original film had. It's just a woman who knows too much, an assassin out to claim a price, and an unstoppable killing machine. It's perfect nostalgia, and does the franchise right.
The Strain: The Fall No. 8
While we wait for this comic to become a show on FX (soon, soon…) we're left with thrilling, macabre tales in pen and ink. This issue we're left with Manhattan fully under the control of "the Master," with long-tongued blood-suckers all about, and our heroes scattered and nearly hopeless. But a discovery in an ancient tome could lead to the destruction of the ancient evils that plague this bloody new world.
Bag it or board it up? These are fun vampire comics that paint there vampires as bloodthirsty, unthinking ghouls. This issue was full of discovery and could be a turning point in the series. It's hard to say how the show will fare because this is a moody, genre-heavy comic. But it's a great read, so enjoy it now and say you liked it before the show (you're so cool)!
The X-Files/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Conspiracy #1
The X-Files and what? The group of investigators known as the Lone Gunman have a clue from the future that the world could be felled by an alien virus soon. So they're on the lookout for anything alien and unnatural. When someone posts a picture of Leonardo on a message board, they ride out to Northampton to find the shelled heroes. There they team up with the turtles to fight off a group of vampires hiding out in the small town.
Bag it or board it up? This is a fun issue, but the plot seems too contrived. I know, I know, it's a story about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who meet up with hoax hunters and kill vampires, but come on! The vampire cult just happens to be in the same town as the turtles? It's a little silly. But, this is a fast-paced, goofy comic and if you like either of the franchises you'll get a chuckle out of this.
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth No. 116
Oh, the problems the world faces in B.P.R.D. Shall we name them? First, the world's been torn apart by giant monsters that emerged from a crack in the earth. Second, society's fallen apart. Third, Manhattan is controlled by someone named The Black Flame, a nine foot tall dude that glows blue and black, burns all around him, and controls the Zinco corporation, leftover villains from the past, and generally acts as a god to New York. Not okay. Our heroes are trying to scrabble together power with resistance fighters, but it's not going well.
Bag it or board it up? This is a great issue of B.P.R.D. The action is tense, the fighting is brief but exciting, and the opening panels of this comic are shocking, terrifying, and sad. It's hard in comics to get the audience to care for the "little people." Too often our interests lie in the superheroes, not the people their building-crushing fights kill. But Mignola and gang can get us to care about anything, really, and when they turn their sights on the people in the middle of the conflict, it's heartbreaking and moving.