Dark Horse Review: STRAYED #1
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Carlos Giffoni
Artist/Colorist: Juan Doe
Letters: Matt Krotzer
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
In the far future, a military-industrial complex reigns over all humanity and actively destroys distant alien worlds. The galaxy’s only hope can be found through an unlikely pair: an astral-projecting cat named Lou and his loving owner Kiara. Trading nine lives for the well-being of billions, their revolt is a battle for love, friendship, compassion, and the soul of humanity.
Juan Doe’s cover is awesome. The cat looks great and I love the astral projections all over the cover. There’s a science fiction tone about the image that is visually appealing but also advertises the style and genre of the book.
Doe’s interior is mostly great as well. The colors are breathtaking and vibrant. The different worlds are all captivating. And I love how astral projection is depicted through the art.
This book has a great premise for two reasons. One is the talking cat. Carlos Giffoni is smart in that he doesn’t give the cat any profound soliloquies. When Lou talks, it’s simple and effective. I think every person would like to actually talk to their pet and Giffoni writes these scenes more naturally than I’ve seen before.
The other great thing is that the cat has super powers. That’s just fun. And Giffoni uses it cleverly. Some kind of shadowy organization is using Lou for their own nefarious means. That’s always a thing that is brought up as a fear of superheroes but it rarely happens that way. Here, Lou is a cat. There’s not much he can do. Kiara is trying to look after him but without much luck. Superman could just fight his way out but a cat and a scientist can’t. So I’m already invested in how they get out of this situation.
While is mostly good, the human characters are a bit of a weak spot. Stylistically, they look kind of weird to me. The characters aren’t as expressive or defined as I tend to like them. It’s not horrible and it doesn’t ruin the book by any means. It’s just a stylistic preference.
This is a really good first issue. The premise is immediately fun and interesting. Giffoni is able to create and engaging conflict with sympathetic characters very quickly which is impressive. The art is great for the most part. I think Doe is incredible with the science fiction elements but the human characters are a little off. But the book definitely has a vibrant style that I love.