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!
Kiss Me, Satan! No. 3
This issue finds our fine fiend Barnabas Black squaring off against hordes of undead and a bad guy named The Bone Wrangler. After a spirited fight between the undead and Barnabas (and the witches he's protecting) the crew flees to a remote cabin where The Eye of Fates demands everyone's attention.
Bag it or board it up? This is a fast-paced, grisly, nasty comic that's full of attitude and has a lot of ambition. I love the spirit of this comic. It's dabbling in divinity, demonics, magic and witchcraft, and everyone has and shoots lots of guns. By this third issue it's gone from a "comic to watch" to a "comic to buy every month."
Afterlife with Archie No. 2
After contracting a zombie virus from his once-dead dog Hot Dog, Jughead creates waves of panic and chaos as he begins attacking his friends and classmates. As he sinks his teeth into Ethel the group finally realizes something very wrong is happening in Riverdale. This issue we see several story lines beginning to develop as the madness of the zombie outbreak rears its nasty head. Will Archie, Betty, Veronica and the gang make it out of this one unscathed? Doubtful.
Bag it or board it up? This Archie comic isn't just filled with blood and guts (although there's plenty to go around). It also touches on subjects that the proper, normal comic would never touch on. Veronica talks to her dad as if he's a distant, unloving parent. Ginger tells Nancy that she wants them both to come out of the closet. There are real issues being touched upon in this comic that often get overlooked in the bubble gum world of Archie comics. For the first time in my life, I'm head-over-heels for Archie.
Night of the Living Dead: Aftermath No. 12
Set in George Romero's Night of the Living Dead world, the comic takes place in the 1970s. The zombie outbreak that first tormented Barbara and Ben in Pittsburgh has been well-contained. Or so everyone thinks. But after an outbreak in Vegas, survivors now scramble to find shelter, a cure, and fight to survive one another. This issue sees a nasty showdown at a military base.
Bag it or board it up? I really like this comic. It doesn't care too much about what the films did for the franchise. It is its own story. The character design is stringy and weird. The action scenes are page-sprawling and monumental, and the undead are designed in grisly, gory fashion. Check it out, all you zombie fans. It's no Afterlife with Archie, but it'll do!
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth No. 113
The saga of the end of the world continues in this issue of Hell on Earth. A quick recap: Hellboy's in Hell. Abe Sapien has his own spin-off series. Liz Sherman kind of broke the planet. Johann is one of the leaders of the B.P.R.D. Now, as the groups struggle to maintain some sort of control on the situation, we see different members dealing with catastrophes in different ways (some with fire, others with rocket launchers).
Bag it or board it up? If you don't read Hell on Earth, don't start with this issue. It's not for the uninitiated. But this, I believe, will be a crucial part of the story for those following along. There's just too much valuable information and plot development to ignore this issue or call it a "transition" issue. Check it out if you're on the up-and-up with this series.