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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: 'Catalyst Prime: Seven Days' #1 (of 7) by Gail Simone, Jose Luis, and Michelle Madsen

DAY ONE: Lorena Payan was the first to realize a meteor was hurtling towards Earth two years ago. Now, she's the first to realize the Earth is in danger once more from something equally cosmic but far more sinister. As dubbed by a mystery figure, the Obsidian Men begin appearing silently all over the globe, and our heroes Noble, Summit, and Accell join together to investigate.


Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils: Jose Luis
Inks: Jonas Trinidade
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: Lion Forge Comics
Release Date: October 2, 2019

Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

The crossover event of the year for Lion Forge's superhero universe, Catalyst Prime, is here. Who better to deliver this epic limited series than the legendary Gail Simone. When a new global threat emerges, can the combined enhanced forces of Noble, Summit, and Accell save the Earth?

That's the premise of issue one and it's all laid out by Lorena Payan, the CEO of the largest tech/research company in the world. She conveniently explains that she predicted the last catastrophe to hit Earth from space - a giant meteor. This time she senses something much worse is approaching and it all has to do with these mysterious humanoids who've landed throughout earth but have not been breached or communicated with. These Obsidian Men soon make their demands known and have given Earth seven days to survive. 

With any superhero universe outside of the Big Two publishers, independent companies have to give readers more than they expect while also giving them something familiar. It's a tricky balance because a significant amount of time is required to introduce these heroes, their abilities, and how this world views them. It can sometimes be heavy-handed and come off as hand-feeding the audience but if you're new to Lion Forge the information is invaluable. DC and Marvel have had decades to build their worlds, Lion Forge has one shot to make a great impression. And a great impression it does. 

What Catalyst Prime gives us is a world that looks like our own in all its diverse glory. Both heroes and power players as varied and unique as the world around us. Something the Big Two has had trouble embracing until very recently. With that said, the story itself isn't unlike grave threats we've seen other heroes face in the past. I mean, I'm sure the Justice League must face a global threat just about every month. What matters in any story like this are the stakes and Simone lays them out perfectly. The odds are against our heroes, the threat is imminent and the enemy is seemingly invincible. It doesn't get more thrilling than this. 

The art team of Jose Luis, Jonas Trinidade, and Michelle Madsen do a tremendous job. Luis' pencil work is flawless, the pacing builds after Payan's exposition, and his designs are incredibly detailed. It's all given great depth with Trinidade's inking especially in regards to hair. Madsen's colors lean a little on the darker side with occasional bursts of color in clothing and in explosions at the end. It all results in a comic that looks and reads as well as any you'll see this year. Lion Forge has not skimmped on talent. 

'Catalyst Prime: Seven Days' #1 is a can't-miss superhero crossover that delivers what every comic book fan craves. Good guys versus bad guys, a major global threat, an insurmountable villain, everything on the line with the clock ticking. What more do you want? Pick it up next Wednesday.