'The Walking Dead' Goes Bad and 'Bulletproof Coffin' Goes Crazy [Image Comics Reviews]

Today we have two Image Comics reviews for you! Spoilers ho, so tread carefully.

Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred #1

A sequel to one of the craziest, most meta series I’ve ever read, Bulletproof Coffin continues at Image with this new series, Disinterred. And I’m happy to say, its as over the top insane and deconstructive as it’s ever been. Where the last series introduced a comic book fan turned superhero – The Coffin Fly – to his creators with hilarious and poignant results, here writer David Hine and artist Shaky Kane are taking on crime/noir comics. Sort of.

Like the first series, it’s a little tough to say what BC:D #1 is about until the series is all over. It wasn’t until the last issue of the first series that we found out David Hine and Shaky Kane were insane shut-ins willing to sell their own characters out at the drop of a hat. And it wasn’t until that moment it became clear why they were creating these new characters, and what The Coffin Fly’s journey had been all about.

Here, we have a new set of characters, and there’s still a “mystery men” element, as an insane police officer prone to see connections where perhaps there are none dons a disguise, and goes to fight crime… Even though he, himself, might be the criminal. And yes, there’s an appearance by The Coffin Fly in this issue that sets everything into motion (someone will have to remind me, but I think this issue shows an alternate take of the last scene of the first series?); but for now, what connections there are beyond that remain to be seen.

Even if you haven’t read the first series, though, the deconstruction of the crime comic is clear, and darkly hilarious. If they keep this up for the whole series, Hine and Kane will be able to define themselves as the evil versions of Criminal’s Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Like those creators, the duo have a mastery of the material that allows them to skewer it at every possible opportunity. This is comics making fun of comics at its satirical best.

The Walking Dead #93

Something happened around the time Rick Grimes and the rest of Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse survivors landed in the current “safe” haven they live in, though it started much earlier in the series than that: they became the villains. Sure its not as simple as that, because the morality of living in the end of the world has always been the main question of The Walking Dead. But particularly with Rick’s actions – and words – at the end of this issue, its pretty clear that he, Micchone, and the rest are the bad guys. And its taken that turn to get me more excited for this series than I have been in a long time.

For those of you not caught up, the survivors have been living a small town walled off from zombie walkers. Rick quickly took charge of the town with only a few small problems, like his son getting half his head shot off, stuff like that. And they’ve even fought off a few invasions from groups before. But the past few issues have seen a new wrinkle on things, as a stranger named Jesus (really) shows up, telling them that there are communities all over the place, and they want to trade.

It’s kind of a head-smackingly obvious move on Kirkman’s part, and fits in neatly with the rest of his, “Like a zombie movie, but keeps going,” philosophy for the series. We always think the survivors we’re following are the only smart ones out there, but of course they’re not. Or at least, that remains to be seen, as most of the issue is spent with Rick coming around to the idea that Jesus may not be lying.

If there’s one qualm, its that Rick changes his mind almost too easily. It may be a function of Kirkman’s prose, which often reads a bit stilted; but Rick goes form chopping zombies, to changing his mind in two panels flat.

That said, to get back to what I mentioned up top, this is easily one of the most exciting arcs in the books history. Things have not gone at all the way every reader thought they would when Rick and company entered their little haven, and the direction continues to be surprising. With this new turn for the bad, and leading up to what is sure to be a major change in the series come issue one hundred, I’m definitely on board for the ride.

The Walking Dead #93 and Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred #1 are now in comic book stores from Image Comics.

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