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REVIEW: 'Stray Dogs' #1 by Tony Fleecs, Trish Forstner, and Brad Simpson

 Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs. It's scary being the new dog. Sophie can’t remember what happened. She doesn’t know how she ended up in this house. She doesn’t recognize any of these other dogs. She knows something terrible happened, but she just…can’t…recall...WAIT! Where’s her lady? A five-issue Don Bluth-style suspense thriller by My Little Pony comic artists TONY FLEECS and TRISH FORSTNER, STRAY DOGS is Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.   STRAY DOGS #1 Writer: Tony Fleecs Artist: Trish Forstner, Brad Simpson Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 24, 2021 Cover Price: $3.99 Score:  ★★★★☆ (4/5) 'Stray Dogs' may see itself as " Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs " but issue one was all Alfred Hitchcock. The mystery, the tension, the dread, the lingering questions suffocate each page soon after our shellshocked protagonist, the trembling Sophie arrives at a strange house full of other rescues. Something is amiss an

REVIEW: 'Bloodshot' #1 by Tim Seeley, Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse, and Adelso Corona

Bloodshot is back with a few new thrilling tricks up his sleeve! No amount of high-octane explosions can keep Bloodshot from completing his new mission. Who is the mysterious BLACK BAR, and what do they want with Bloodshot?


Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse, Adelso Corona
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: September 25, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

Score:  ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

I've always said that Valiant Comics is the best action movie studio in comics. The comic book publisher is rife with great titles like Rai, Ninjak, X-O Manowar, Live Wire, Eternal Warrior, Faith, and Shadowman. All of which, have great heroic protagonists involved in epic cinematic adventures and tons of action. It's no surprise that DMG Entertainment acquired full ownership of Valiant Entertainment last year and is adapting a number of properties into live-action films. Case in point, Bloodshot is being produced by Sony Pictures and starring Vin Diesel. Valiant comics are ripe for the big screen. 

This newest volume of Bloodshot the comic book is an introductory tale that's wall-to-wall action. It's a visceral roller coaster ride of sheer mayhem. It's the perfect example of what you're going to see on a theater screen. Big, rousing, kinetic storytelling that will blow you away. However...

...Bloodshot #1 feels like it should have been issue three perhaps. It has the thinnest of plots and no emotional investment except for some acts of kindness from Bloodshot amid the chaos. There's usually a build-up to such an extravagant extended action sequence once the story's been established and you've met the characters. Despite a convenient monologue explaining Bloodshot's origin story, this really is more for existing fans of the comic than new readers. If you like a symphony of explosions, gunfire, and fighting then this is for you. Tim Seeley is a talented writer but it's unclear if the decision to lean so heavily on the action versus character development was the publisher's way of enticing a potential movie-going audience. 

If you're going to have this much going on the page you might as well have the talents of Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse and Adelso Corona. Booth is in his element creating mind-blowing sequences of hard-boiled action. The pacing is quick and effective with just the right money shots featuring Bloodshot in epic poses. There are a couple of muddled transitions that get confusing among the panels interrupting the mostly operatic rush of violence but it's just a minor speed bump. Dalhouse's colors and Corona's inking give the issue the depth and boldness it deserves. 

'Bloodshot' #1 is a freight train of action that mindlessly barrels down the track at full bore. It's not a bad issue but it lacks any emotional depth to latch onto. It's quite the ride but feels hollow and disposable. Hopefully, the next issues will flesh out the characters more and take a moment to give the reader a reason to care about what's happening.