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
(W) James Asmus, Sam Maggs (A) Jack Lawrence, Casey Coller (CA) Tony Fleecs In Shops: Apr 28, 2021 SRP: $3.99
While using a modified Space Bridge to bring magic to Cybertron, the Decepticons end up unleashing a more powerful evil from Equestria than they ever could’ve imagined-looks like the only way out of this one is to team up! More ponies, more bots, and more magical mayhem as two worlds collide in the return of this hit crossover event!
The shocking ending to last week’sStray Dogs #3by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner left fans stunned. A ripple effect of buzz surrounding the issue’s gut-wrenching revelation sent a flurry of tongues wagging and readers not yet caught up on the series made a beeline to stores to find out what happened. Stray Dogs #3 inventory has sold-out completely at the distributor level and Image Comics has fast-tracked a reprint in order to keep up with reorders.
This reprint of Stray Dogs #3 will feature new cover art by Forstner.
In Stray Dogs #3 readers discover that under the farmhouse, something rots. And some things just won’t stay buried. Stray Dogs is a five issue, Don Bluth-style mystery/horror miniseries best described as Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.
Stray Dogs #3, second printing (Diamond Code MAR218833) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 26.
This July, IDW invites readers of all ages to enjoy a centennial celebration with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #100, the sensational super-sized anniversary issue full of frolicking fillies and mysterious menace!
The monumental 100th issue of Friendship is Magic features the work of longtime, fan-favorite contributors, writer Jeremy Whitley and artists Andy Price and Brenda Hickey, and includes a special back-up story by Katie Cook. Set officially within the Season 10 continuity following the series finale of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series, the story will be a thrill for longtime fans while remaining accessible to new and returning readers.
In this landmark issue, Rainbow Dash and her companions Spitfire, Celaeno, Lyra, and Bon Bon find themselves in the Bird Kingdom, where old friendships are tested and a new, enigmatic enemy lurks in the shadows. Together, the ponies will unravel the mystery of the Knights of Harmony!
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #100 will be available with multiple cover variants for retailers and fans to enjoy, including Cover A by Andy Price, Cover B by Tony Fleecs, a Retailer Incentive edition featuring art by Agnes Garbowska, and a San Diego Comic-Con variant by Amy Mebberson available exclusively online timed with Comic-Con@Home.
There’s certain combinations out there that works well despite them being opposites. Stray Dogs feels like an example of that. The series delivers a style like Don Bluth that hides the dark interior. Stray Dogs #3 is another instance of that with an issue that has the dogs on edge as they’re convinced their new owner is also a serial killer.
Written by Tony Fleecs, the issue features debate and discovery as the dogs attempt to figure out what’s going on. As readers, it’s clear something isn’t right. The “owner” has a secret and what that is can still be debated. Is he a killer? Is there something more innocent and the dogs are misremembering? Fleecs keeps readers guessing as the dogs themselves struggle to remember what’s going on and what happened in their past.
We’re given some hints and the dogs come across another clue but all of it together can also point to something else going on. As a reader, I think the owner is a killer but at the same time, there’s other explanations as to what has been discovered. It’s easy to see why the dogs are coming to the conclusions they are and part of that is the innocence and cuteness of the art. There’s a combination of the visuals and the story that comes together in weird ways like that.
Those visuals are courtesy of Trish Forstner. They’re beautiful as always. The dogs are cute as can be but there’s a darkness about the comic. There’s a dread that exists. Part of that is helped with the color by Brad Simpson. The color is bright and doesn’t pop. It delivers a slightly darker tone to it all. Tone Rodriguez provides layouts and Lauren Perry is the flatter. The visuals are an interesting one in two instances of the comic (which I don’t want to spoil).
The dogs discover something that’s really head scratching. One thing is hinted at but it doesn’t quite make sense. Visually, it’s done really well hinting at what might be going on but, wouldn’t dogs be able to smell things? There’s also the final scene where there’s a fantastic choice to allow the reader’s imagination to fill in the blank. It’s far worse than anything can be drawn and adds a sense of horror about it all.
Stray Dogs #3 continues the cute dog meets murder mystery. It does so with tension and excitement that builds through the issue. It’s another fantastic entry that’ll keep readers guessing what’s true and what’s not and where things are going from here.
Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner Color: Brad Simpson Layouts: Tone Rodriguez 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
(W) Jeremy Whitley (A/CA) Tony Fleecs In Shops: Apr 14, 2021 SRP: $3.99
Season 10 continues here!
Twilight Sparkle has sent our favorite fillies on a journey of outreach all over Equestria! But when Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Trixie, Discord, and Capper visit Abyssinia, their trip turns sour fast-they weren’t supposed to end up in jail! Good thing Capper’s old friends are pretty good cat burglars…
The breakout thriller series Stray Dogsby Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner is ahead of the pack when it comes to fan enthusiasm and has sold out yet again at the distributor level. Image Comics will unleash a reprint of the second issue in order to keep up with the dogged customer demand.
In Stray Dogs #2 something doesn’t smell right. None of the dogs know what happens behind that door at the end of the hallway. All they know is there’s a punishment for sniffing around it. What secrets are hidden in the Master’s Forbidden Room?
Stray Dogs is a five-issue, Don Bluth-style mystery/horror miniseries best described as Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.
Stray Dogs #2, second printing (Diamond Code FEB219069) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 28.