Bagged and Boarded Comic Reviews: The Strain, B.P.R.D., 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!

The Strain Comic Book CoverThe Strain No. 10
Things are not going well in New York City and the outer boroughs. A strain of "vampirism" has broken out big time, and a rag tag group of survivors attempts to investigate and find their loved ones. This issue has them tussling with "the master" and it alludes to an even bigger fight with the big baddie next issue. All in all the big apple has had a huge bite taken out of it, and the chaos is only just ramping up.

Bag it or board it up?
I'll admit, I'm coming into this series a little late. Horror/genre mainstay Guillermo del Toro is currently casting for the FX pilot of this comic, and it would be cool to see it get the "Walking Dead" treatment. The vampires in this are vile, with humongous slithering tongues that they use to decimate their victims. This is one of those classic "ramp up" issues that kind of drive me crazy, but hopefully issue 11 will be so full of high action that we'll forgive the "let's level up before we go to the boss fight" feel of this one.

B.P.R.D. Comic Book CoverB.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Abyss of Time No. 1
Taking place before the events of the wonderful Return of the Master run of this comic, The Abyss follows a group of B.P.R.D. agents as they investigate an old abandoned Chicago warehouse. Once inside, the group finds remnants of an ancient secret society. When one of the agents touches an old sword relic, he passes out. And we cut to the ancient past (?) where a confused warrior (who looks similar to our passed out agent) learns the history of the famous sword he possesses.

Bag it or board it up?
If I keep on loving these Hell on Earth comics, are you all going to think I'm in Mignola's pocket? I'm not! I swear! But hot shit, this is one good series. The huge change in time period and setting are a nice palate cleanse after the death and decimation of Return. I'm a sucker for fantasy, and this has ancient sword and sorcery written all over it. Keep it coming, guys and girls, I can't get enough.

Ghost Comic Book CoverGhost No. 3
The titular Ghost of Ghost has finally unlocked some clues as to who she is and where she's from. With that, we see Dr. October begin a ritual to welcome another evil "traveller" into the world. Cut to flashbacks of Ghost's past life, and we have a clue as to where this comic is headed. Not much else happens in this issue, but for fans of the lore of Ghost there's a lot going on here.

Bag it or board it up?
I feel like this series is kind of losing steam! Oh no! It was so fun in the beginning, but as the mystery of who Ghost really is unfolds, it all feels a little lack luster. It's like Twin Peaks post-reveal of Laura's killer. The action in this issue is nonexistent, but the artwork is still beautiful. And now that Ghost knows who to go after, the comic itself may course-correct a bit.

Mars Attacks KISS Comic Book CoverMars Attacks KISS
The evil martians come to Earth to destroy the planet, but The Elder (a spirit the hovers in space) calls upon the powers of KISS (yes, KISS, the band) to save us all. Unfortunately, the martians gain the powers of the rock band from outer space and use them to tear apart "the big city." A battle inside the minds of the martians take place as the elemental forces of KISS battle the martians, and then the human versions of kiss battle the martians, and then, oh, I don't know…

Bag it or board it up?
This comic makes me want to never rock and roll all night or party every day ever again. I don't know how to summarize this comic, except to say that it's completely insane and weird and dumb. Is it trying to be funny? Is it trying to be irreverent? It's neither. Maybe if you really love Mars Attacks and you really love KISS you'll really love this comic. If so, please stay away from me, you're probably a creepy dude or gal.