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. 121
Rick and his friends and followers are stuck in a town blown half to hell by the evil Negan and his cronies. Determined to take down the baseball-bat-wielding psychopath, Rick wants to move his people out of town and strike back immediately. But Negan's got some important people held hostage, and he knows how to get what he wants. When an important character passes away, few are around to mourn, and no one has the time.
Bag it or board it up? This issue starts out with a bang, and then allows the reader to fester and sweat it out with the cast of the comic. This is a "lull in the storm," for sure, but it's still a very exciting read. As much as I want to see the final, gruesome showdown that this arc promises, I'm really enjoying these quiet moments with the group as they struggle to pack it up and move on.
X-Files: Season 10 No. 9
Scully and Mulder are working for the FBI again, and this time they're called into a small town in Pennsylvania where multiple kidnappings and strange disappearances started happening. Upon investigation, they find a hapless guy that fits the description of a serial killer. But he keeps praying to something called the Chittering God. And cockroaches seem to keep cropping up all over the place. And something is calling out to our intrepid investigators, like the sound of, well… chittering bugs.
Bag it or board it up? You know how sometimes, in the original X-Files series, an episode would really fit into a specific genre? This issue is like one of those old episodes that were true horror. This has everything the horror fan could want; a serial killer on the loose, a dark mystery, and bugs! Lots and lots of bugs. I'm a fan of this series a lot, and I think it's definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Abe Sapien No. 10
In this spin-off series starring Hellboy's buddy Abe Sapien, the titular hero has gone off the grid. After being blamed for being part of the apocalypse happening all over the world (giant monsters breaking out of the earth), and then being shot, he's decided to leave the BPRD. Now he's out among the people, trying to live a normal life and find out more about himself. But the world is weird now, and a bunch of kids are doing bad things in a graveyard. Sounds like a job for Abe, whether he likes it or not.
Bag it or board it up? This isn't the issue to jump into if you're not already ready Abe Sapien. That being said, this is a fun read, with wonderful illustrations. The story gives a little bit of background, but this is a quiet, contemplative issue. This comic is full of longing, past remembrances, and patient waiting. Indeed, it asks the reader to be patient with it.
Creepy No. 15
Ahh, who can resist these new anthology comics. This really is a throwback, with the same name, artwork style, and approach to horror comics as in days of yore. These comics dressed as classics include a story about a bunch of mercenary explorers who uncover a dark secret in a South American temple. Also featured is a comic that is, I kid you not, a horrific riff on the concept behind the original Bon Iver album (dude has a nasty break up, goes into the woods to write music). And a rather nasty affair about "tribal" magic that feels so out of time it feels like it was written in the fifties.
Bag it or board it up? This is a great issue… except for that last comic, "Second Childhood." Full of so much latent racism, sexism, forced sex, and negative stereotypes, I was sure it was written back before we had sense in our heads. The story of a decadent hedonist who "chooses" his bride is too vile for all the wrong reasons, I can't abide by it. Which is a shame, because the first two comics in this anthology are great fun.