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 Walking Dead No. 101
Oh, The Walking Dead. You have given us so much in your 101 issue run. Thrills, chills, blood-spills. And even still, you keep on giving. HUGE SPOILERS: The stunning events of Issue 100 leave the characters in a free-for-all tailspin. The group attempts to come to terms with the death of a loved one at the hands of the psychotic Negan and his army, The Saviors. Things are, as usual, not looking up for Rick and the gang, but a surprise captive may help turn the tide.
Bag it or board it up? You'd be insane to outright dislike any single issue of The Walking Dead. But sometimes, after tent-pole issues like No. 100, you'll get an issue that is solely focused on "picking up the pieces." And that's this issue, for sure. If you're a long-time follower, than this issue is crucial to the story. But if you're a casual reader, go back one and ready the crazy-face previous issue.
The Crow: Death & Rebirth No. 2
The Crow, rated number one franchise among goths and teens! But seriously, I still have a soft spot in my heart for this ever-changing post-mortem hero. In this new storyline, set in Japan in the near-future, we meet a sword and gun-wielding Crow named Jamie. A bio-tech company in Japan has found a way to push people's souls out of their bodies, and they killed Jamie and pushed his girlfriend's soul out of her body. Now he's on a bloody rampage to set things right.
Bag it or board it up? Do you like The Crow movies and comics? Then you'll love this. Because it is pretty standard Crow fare. The unkillable dude in black and white make-up jumps around slicing up bad guys and making groan-worthy puns and one-liners. It's like if Spider-Man's true identity was Robert Smith, not Peter Parker. This issue is a treat for fans, but there's not much here for the initiated.
Hellblazer No. 294
Everyone's favorite supernatural sourpuss detective John Constantine travels to Dublin to hunt down his long-lost nephew. The now-grown Constantine offspring may be involved in the ritualistic slaying and dismemberment of animals. Whether it's the nephew or not, someone keeps writing "Constantine" in blood (which is not ideal for John).
Bag it or board it up? Oh, this is a fun issue. It's nice to come back to Hellblazer, especially if you, like myself, have been away for a while. John's still his good ol' self, the mysteries are still blood-soaked, and the last page of this comic is equal parts unsettling, visually stunning, and hilarious. Check it out and jump back on the John train.
Before Watchmen: Rorschach No. 1
The title says it all, really. This comic takes place before the events of Gibbons and Moore's masterpiece, Watchmen. And this set of comics features the only "hero" worthy of FEARnet's pages. Rorschach is a conflicted, moralistic, thug-and-junkie killing machine, and this issue sets the stage. He's already in his element and he's already hunting bad guys with his famous mask. It's just all Rorschach all the time!
Bag it or board it up? Let's not even get into the debate of whether or not this line of comics should have been made. That's a whole other story. This comic, as a singular entity, is gritty, bloody, and fun. It's not like Watchmen, it's not as smart, but it is still a pretty good read.