If you’ve read my recent review of Replica #1, you know that I am really high on AfterShock Comics. They continue to release excellent books, and the latest of these is called Strayer, and I really enjoyed its debut issue.
Previously in STRAYER: The world is full of monsters. Strayer kills them, but, of course, for a small fee… Nothing is free. Mala does magic of a sort… sometimes when she wants, sometimes not… She may be the only one who can save the world and Strayer is going to help her… whether he likes it or not… . From the popular creators behind the Luther Strode trilogy, Spread, and Ghost Racers.
MONSTER-HUNTING FOR PROFIT
I long ago gave up trying to count how many monster hunters there were who did it because they felt it was the right thing to do, that the world had too many monsters, so they simply went out after them without any thought of profit or gain.
Well, with Strayer, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Gedeon have put something of a modern spin on monster hunting, with the main character lets people know up front, “I want to be paid.” It’s kind of refreshing, actually, to see a hunter who knows his talents run this way but who wants to make a living off all this.
Strayer starts out in a small town who under-appreciates his abilities … so much so that they throw him in jail when he appears on the scene. Well, he ends up in a cell with someone who is fine with helping him take on the big, bad monsters. They end up defending the town from a huge Swamp Thing-like monster. And like all good guys, they take down the baddie, but they also cause damage in the process.
In steps a “witch” – a woman who uses technology that the townsfolk don’t understand, so they consider it magic, of course. She needs help on her altruistic mission. Will Strayer help, or will she have to use her powers to make him aid her?
The pacing is quick, and the characters are almost like people we’d know in a small town today. I even liked the big monster, who has fire pouring out of his eyes. Jordan is always particularly strong at breathing life into the people inhabiting his stories, so I wasn’t surprised at how vibrant Strayer and those around him are. Great, as always!
HIGH-OCTANE ART, TOO
Gedeon struts his stuff in this initial issue, moving from cityscapes to small towns, men who are damaged goods to women who have a mysterious nature to them. I also thought his ability to portray action was really strong, from Strayer taking on the big monster to when Mala confronts the hunter near the end of the title.
Mala’s outfit is particularly strong, with translucent elements when it is finally revealed. I even liked Strayer’s red hair, which makes me think he has Viking lineage in there. I had to laugh when Strayer’s in jail, handcuffed. When the time comes for him to be free, he needs no help in shattering his shackles. The pieces of wood fly everywhere, very cool! Oh, and I loved the double-page spread utilized when the monster first appears.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A Great Start
AfterShock Comics has been bringing high-power talent to the books they’re producing, and Strayer is a perfect example of this. It’s something different, something fun, something adventurous.
Personally, I’ve been getting all of this company’s product, and I highly recommend them all. To learn more about AfterShock Comics, you can go to their website. They’ve also recently signed a deal for their books to appear at comixology.com, so if you local store hasn’t ordered these titles, you should be able to get them online soon.
If you’re already a fan of this team, you won’t be disappointed in this title. If you’ve never read their work before, this would be the perfect place to start! Don’t miss it!
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