What kind of action do Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood have in store for us in the pages of Stringers? Let’s find out in this early review of Stringers #1 from Oni Press.
Previously in Stringers: This is the first issue of Stingers, but if you aren’t familiar with the nomenclature, a stringer is a news correspondent that is not a regular member of the staff at a newspaper or television station. You may know of them as freelancers or a paparazzi who sell their footage or story to the highest bidder.
THIS ISN’T NIGHTCRAWLER
If you are a fan of the movie Nightcrawler, you are going to be disappointed, as this book has a heck of a lot more humor and action than the movie. You’ll figure that out pretty quickly as the introduction of our heroes has them involved in a high-speed chase while discussing whether or not peanut butter is a condiment (it’s not). The heroes in question are Paul and Nick, and they are trying to make a quick paycheck by videotaping the action, even if it means jumping out of the car in the middle of a gun-fight to capture footage that no other stringer will have to sell. They could actually sell their footage nationally.
The dynamic between Nick and Paul is really great, and I think Marc Guggenheim has nailed the snappy dialogue between these two characters, as it not only shows the frenetic energy of the action scenes taking place, it also keeps the reader off center as we try and figure out what news Paul is hiding from Nick, the duo’s relationship with competitor Speez The Sleaze, and how they can get away from the crime scene after running over one of the shooters.
They don’t actually get away though – by the end of the issue, an encrypted USB drive pulled off a dead gang member has them in the spotlight of a couple of guys in suits driving a sedan. Are you ready for a conspiracy theory series? I know I am! This sudden twist at the end of the issue brings it all together and moves this issue from good to great.
NOT THE FINAL ART
Since this is an early review of Stringers #1, Oni Press did point out that this review copy doesn’t represent the final art for the issue. I don’t know if that means there is additional cleanup that needs to be done, or if some of the coloring will be redone, but for me I thought the art was pretty good. The dynamic action plays well on many double page spreads, and the color palette keeps with the LED lights of the city, headlights, dash board lights and police lights. All of this combines for something that is very moody which makes the final reveal at the end of the issue a bigger payoff.
BOTTOM LINE: I LIKE THIS A LOT
While we don’t know what kind of conspiracy hijinks are going to happen in this issue (aliens, government coverup, free energy…) Guggenheim and Greenwood give readers a great first chapter of a story that hooks us and wants us to tune in at eleven to see what happens next. If you are looking for something beyond capes and tights, like conspiracy and action, Stringers #1 is worth checking out when it arrives in stores on August 26, 2015.
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