My Little Pony/Transformers: The Magic of Cybertron #4 (of 4)
(W) James Asmus, Ian Flynn (A) Casey Coller, Jack Lawrence (CA) Tony Fleecs In Shops: Jul 21, 2021 SRP: $3.99
Spike and Grimlock return! When the Dinobots are attacked by Sombra’s minions, can Grimlock’s little purple buddy save every creature? And don’t miss the epic conclusion to the hit crossover series! Is friendship really magic? Can Transformers and ponies really work together? And how in the world are they going to stop Sombra?!
Image Comics has announced that every issue of the wildly popular Stray Dogs by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner will be rushed back to print—for the final time—to alleviate the untamed reorder activity on the series.
In this suspenseful miniseries, readers meet Sophie, a dog who 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? Now Sophie has to figure out where she is, what’s happening, and how she’s going to survive this. They say there’s no such thing as a bad dog—just bad owners.
Stray Dogs is a five-issue, Don Bluth-style mystery/horror miniseries best described as Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.
The Stray Dogs #1-5 final reprints will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, August 4:
Stray Dogs #1 fifth printing, Cover A – MAY219398
Stray Dogs #1 fifth printing, Cover B blank – MAY219399
Stray Dogs #2 fourth printing – MAY219400
Stray Dogs #3 fourth printing – MAY219401
Stray Dogs #4 fourth printing – MAY219402
Stray Dogs #5 second printing, Cover A – MAY219403
Stray Dogs #5 second printing, Cover B 1:10 copy incentive – MAY219404
I love how Stray Dogs #5 wraps up the comic series but at the same time, I’m not sure I love the issue as a whole. It’s an issue that’s full of action, tense moments, and sadness. But, it also feels a bit “short” and too much of a quick read. The contents of Stray Dogs #5 feels like it’d have been fine in an extended fourth issue than merits an issue on its own. But, it also means the series will likely be a fantastic read once it’s collected.
With a story by Tony Fleecs, the dogs know the truth and the Master is clearly a murderer. They need to escape or they’ll likely meet a deadly fate as well. This means they have two options to fight and to flee. What Fleecs does with this issue is fantastic. It’d be so easy to turn this final issue into a “Home Alone” like battle with the dogs tripping master or setting up obstacles so they can get away. Instead, Fleecs keeps it all grounded. They run and they fight. No tricks, only panicked attempts to escape. It also delivers a sadness to it all in the fact that they’re dogs. They’re boxed in by fast moving cars they don’t know what to do with and have to face a world they don’t know at all.
A lot of that emotion is delivered in the art by Trish Forstner with colors by Brad Simpson. Featuring layouts by Tone Rodriguez and Chris Burnham and work by flatter Lauren Perry, the art continues its amazing Don Bluth-like style. The look and colors creates a sweetness about the dogs it’s hard to not feel bad for them. Their fear and panic ooze off the page. There’s also an interesting bit of reserved quality about the finale. It’d be easy to have gone over the top in the blood and gore. Instead, what’s shown is minimal emphasizing the aspect just enough to make it clear where things stand.
Stray Dogs #5 is a solid ending to the series. It wraps things up nicely with an emotional rollercoaster that at times tugs at heartstrings. But, the issue doesn’t quite stand on its own. It feels like returning to a film “after the break” and in ways is a little unsatisfying as a stand alone issue. Yes, it’s part of a single story but it’s a single story broken up in issues and in this case the issue itself feels a little thin. But, it works so well as part of the whole. If you haven’t read the single issues, it’s a story that sticks the landing and will be a collection that’s well worth picking up when released.
Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner Color: Brad Simpson Layouts: Tone Rodrigeuz, Chris Burnham Flatter: Lauren Perry Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Fans are piling on to the popular thriller/mystery Stray Dogs by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner and every issue of the series so far has now sold out at the distributor level. Image is rushing all four issues back to print in order to keep up with demand. All four of the reprints will feature clever new homage art by Forstner that give nod to the iconic horror movie posters of Midsommar, The Evil Dead, The Thing, and Psycho.
New readers and series devotees alike will also enjoy a FCBD edition of Stray Dogs available on August 14, at participating comic shops. It will feature a brand new prologue, “That Doggie in the Window”—the unnerving story of the very first dog to ever come to the Master’s house.
The Stray Dogs series is a five-issue Don Bluth-style suspense thriller that is best described as Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.
In Stray Dogs, 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?
Available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 7:
Stray Dogs #4by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner—which just landed in stores last week—as well as Stray Dogs #1, have sold out completely at the distributor level. Image will fast-track both issues for reprints in order to keep up with overwhelming demand for the much talked about series.
In Stray Dogs #4, time is running out. Hackles are raised, tensions are high, and nobody’s had a thing to eat. When the Master’s away, the dogs will drag everything awful into the light. And the awful truth is nobody’s coming to set them free.
Available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 23:
Stray Dogs #5 Cover A – Diamond Code APR210337
Stray Dogs #5 Cover B Horror movie homage variant – Diamond Code APR210338
Stray Dogs #4, second printing – Diamond Code APR218875
Stray Dogs #1, third printing – Diamond Code APR218874
My Little Pony/Transformers: The Magic of Cybertron #2
(W) Sam Maggs, Ian Flynn (A) Priscilla Tramontano, Trish Forstner (CA) Tony Fleecs In Shops: May 26, 2021 SRP: $3.99
The Seekers and the Wonderbolts have formed an uneasy alliance-can Starscream and Rainbow Dash work together to stop the evil attacking Cybertron?! Plus, Applejack and Wildwheel come face-to-face in a wild, wild showdown for the ages!
The previous issue of Stray Dogs had me guessing as to whether “Master” was really a killer or the dogs’ memory made it seem that way. Stray Dogs #4 gives a pretty definitive answer as the house of horrors is revealed. I’m not sure how you can explain away what’s revealed.
In the previous issue, Victor tried to call for help and Earl ratted him out to Master. Victor was then taken out behind the shed where we were left with a “bang”. Stray Dogs #4 picks up on that as panic sets in and the dogs attempt to figure out what happened to Victor. The revelations are a spiral of gross and sickening as the issue just builds and builds until its final moment.
This is house of horrors level of crazy and it’s been impressive that writer Tony Fleecs has kept readers guessing up to this point. But, with all that’s shown in this issue, it’s hard to dismiss any of it. This is a level of crazy that just builds and builds with one horrible thing leading to the next in a series of shocking revelations. Fleecs masterfully builds it all up using the dogs’ reactions to drive home to escalation. He also brilliantly sows dissension among the dogs. Sophie and Rusty attempt to make their case with Earl not wanting to accept the truth.
And that’s part of the brilliance of the issue. We’re not quite sure what is the truth until this issue. You can understand Earl’s reluctance to accept reality. He’s been treated well from what he remembers. But as things build, the panic that sets in is felt and reverberates from the page. It’s everything that works for horror stories in a cute package.
That “package” is delivered through the art of Trish Forstner. With color by Brad Simpson, layouts by Tone Rodriguez, and flatter Lauren Perry, the art continues to be beautiful. The style is classic animation with the dogs being their adorable self. What’s amazing is that mix of tones with this “cute” art juxtaposed with the very horror driven plot. The revelations keep the style but add a sense of terror. The mix is interesting and works really well.
Stray Dogs #4 is a fantastic issue that lays the cards on the table. You find yourself yelling “get out of the house” much like you would a horror film. The build up of revelations is perfectly executed delivering a punch in that last page. This is the issue where the truth is clear and will make you want to see what happens next immediately.
Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner Color: Brad Simpson Layouts: Tone Rodriguez Flatters: Lauren Perry Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review