When a scientist makes a discovery that allows her to talk to her cat, she had no idea it would lead to the exploration of faraway places. All may have been well, but when the military becomes involved, people become commodities and a small cat may be the key to it all. STRAYED #1 is out from Dark Horse Comics, August 21st!
Writer: Carlos Giffoni
Artist: Juan Doe
Letters: Matt Krotzer
Editor: Chas! Pangburn
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 21, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in STRAYED: For generations, the cat has remained a mystery to even those who claim to be cat lovers. Enigmatic, mysterious and aloof, cats have allowed humans to stay within their sphere of influence as long as we do their bidding. Even people who say they are in harmony with their cat cannot truly know what thoughts originate within the feline mind. Now, a brilliant scientist has developed a device that will allow her to speak to her cat, and understand when the cat speaks to her.
BEHIND THE EYES OF A CAT…
Dr. Kiara Rodrigues is on the horns of a dilemma, or perhaps on the paws. Her and her cat, Lou, would have gone into the history books for no other reason than the breakthrough discovery Rodrigues made which allowed her to translate Lou’s brain impulses into an understandable language. I mean, the first to achieve a Doolittle would have been enough for most scientist to collect their Nobel Prize and retire to some small tropical island. Once Lou revealed his secret to Kiara, everything changed. The military became involved and wanted to use Lou’s secret for themselves. Lou and Kiera are aboard a military space station and have been convinced to participate in a project that used Lou’s ability for unknown purposes.
Lou’s ability? Well, Lou can astral project his essence across space.
Imagine it, travel to other worlds with no expenditure of resources. A viable scout to locate just the right world. If not for Dr. Rodrigues discovery which allowed communications between the two, Lou may have led a life of leisure, exploring the universe, and no one would have been any wiser. That conjecture is mute; the device was created, Lou was the subject it was used on, and now the military wants to use him. Major Williams tells Kiara that he needs Lou to find them a planet, one with resources. Lou, loving Kiara as only a cat can sets out to find such a planet and succeeds. The military is not finished with the couple, however, and Lou’s discovery of a planet with primitive life sets a chain of events into motion with will threaten not only him and Kiara, but the whole of everything.
THE GREATEST OF MYSTERIES LAY.
This first issue of Strayed was one I was not prepared for. You know how it is, you’re browsing upcoming titles, trying to find some material, and a cover catches your eye. You flip through it, check out the blurb, and something sparks an interests. Next thing you know you want to read more, but realize you have to wait for that next issue to hit. This is what has happened with me and Strayed.
A musician and writer, Carlos Giffoni’s (Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness) Dark Horse Comics debut presents us with this story of two beings trapped by circumstances. Kiara is the scientist, whose creation should have been shouted from the rooftops, but instead is trapped on a space station and being forced to ask the only family she has to perform for a military who is only interested in what can be gained. Lou is the cat who is just doing what comes natural, and knows only that they wish to be with their human. It is refreshing. So many titles that involve cats simply dump them into the snotty, self-serving category or make them more interested in themselves than others. Lou, and his thoughts, come out as you really wish a cat’s would. His voice is full of love and concern for his companion, and he does not fully comprehend why they are being kept separated. When he is awaken by a nightmare, he receives the first clue that nothing is as innocent as it seems. Similarly, Kiara has the reaction of a person who really loves her cat. She is willing to fight for him, but knows that if not for her presence, things may not go well for Lou. Throw in a mysterious military agenda, violent colonization of a world and dream-messages of doom, and you have a winner. Giffoni is delivering a gripping and entertaining story with something for everyone.
Artist Juan Doe (Dark Ark, Solar: Man of the Atom) has a slightly unique style of art that fits this story perfectly. It has a European feel and contains beautiful work that adds to the story so well. The art flows. From the organic panel lines, to the blending of the geometric and the organic, it is a visual explosion that has you looking deep into the details. The splash pages showing Lou’s dream and memories of what came before are composed so well they would be a treat even if no words were present.
BOTTOM LINE: A PLEASANT SURPRISE
I was taken by surprise with this first issue, from the fact I am more of a dog person to how much I cared about Lou after only this issue. It is very well written, seems to be well thought out, and looks as if it has a very original idea that moves it beyond your average sci-fi story.
STRAYED #1 could be a sleeper hit. With a compelling story, solid art, and a great cast of characters, you really should add it to you pull list.
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Strayed #1 is one of those that may slip under a lot of people’s radar, don’t let it. Get yours on new comic day.