Bagged and Boarded Comic Reviews: Steve Niles, Dogs Fighting Monsters, 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!

Monster & Madman No. 1

Although the cover of this awesome new comic screams "The Secret History of Jack the Ripper and Frankenstein's Monster" we only really spend time with the Monster in this first issue. The story takes place right after the events of Mary Shelley's famous novella, and we see the Monster roaming the frozen wastes of Antarctica searching for a life to live after his creator dies. When he comes upon a ship, he asserts himself, proves his worth, and climbs aboard. Trouble and treachery await him almost immediately, and at the end he finds himself with a surreptitious meeting.

Bag it or board it up? Steve Niles and Damien Worm are at their best with 'Monster & Madman'. This comic is drawn in the classic messy, chaotic style. The unclean layout matches the chaos and shambling nature of the story. Frank's Monster meets Jack the Ripper? By Steve Niles? Yes please. This is what happens when professionals write fan-fiction, and the result is awesome.

Deadworld: Restoration No. 4

The world is in ruins. It's been that way for a long, long time. The king of zombies is slowly rebuilding his power after being defeated once. A half-zombie woman, currently in control of the hordes of undead, searches for the daughter her human half still misses. The humans are trying everything from explosives to flies in their battle against the undead. And all around them the stench of death lingers.

Bag it or board it up? This is a fine zombie comic. It's grim, about as grim as anything old Kirkman could think up. But it's got a lot of different plot lines. There are tons of characters to follow and keep track of. There are plots-a-plenty. There's so much to keep straight it can be a challenge at times. But if you like sinking your teeth into a huge horror story you can do no better than 'Deadworld'.

Beasts of Burden One-Shot

A small town is protected by a ring of household pets and strays. The dogs have formed a tenuous partnership with the cats, and they battle against unseen forces of evil. Monsters lurk in the shadows, and we see the whole story through the eyes, ears, and personalities of these furry friends. Are the cats magical? Are the dogs as tough as they think they are? Are the crows evil? So many questions plague the animal kingdom in 'Beasts'!

Bag it or board it up? Whoa. This is an awesome comic. Check this out right away. The personalities of the dogs and cats are all very relatable. They joke with each other. They swear when they get into trouble. They run for their lives from giant monsters. This is a fun one, and definitely worth digging into further. I love the way the cats act with one another, and the way they regard humans. With vague references to nine lives, and allusions to shamans and witchcraft, this one shot is designed to whet the appetite. And it certainly has!

Nosferatu Wars One-Shot

This week we've got another one-shot to review. And it's also another comic from horror master Steve Niles. This one's about a couple, two vampires, madly in love and mad with power during the time of the great plague. They kill as they wish, feed as they wish, and even get married during the chaos. And then they meet up with rival vampires, and then something really weird happens…

Bag it or board it up? The last page of this comic had me scratching my head. So wild, so out of the blue, and and will lead to a really strange and wonderful comic if they continue with the series. It seems like this comic, much like 'Beasts of Burden' reviewed above, are one-shot's designed to gauge interest. In both cases my interest has been piqued, and I'm ready for more.