Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Lurks in the Longbox? #36 - The Strangers #1

The Strangers #1 - FCBD Edition
Oni Press
FREE, Color, 28 pgs.
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Scott Kowalchuk, Dan Jackson

Described by Mark Waid as "a beautiful harmony of Jonny Quest, The Doom Patrol and Secret Agent," the newest ongoing series from Oni Press made its premiere a couple months early, as the publisher's Free Comic Book Day offering.  While other publishers release preview pages or even reprints for the national holiday, Oni Press celebrates FCBD every year by offering readers the complete first issue of a new ongoing series.  During past years, they have premiered Spontaneous, Bad Medicine, and even the popular series The Sixth Gun on FCBD.  Oni has experienced success with the strategy of offering first issues for free, and smartly taking advantage of an event that brings in many new readers to comic shops all over the globe.

Set in the Cold War era, The Strangers is a team comprised of three people coming from very different backgrounds, with unusual powers and abilities that are gradually revealed throughout the issue.  As the title suggests, the team's primary purpose is "protecting the planet from the strange," whether it involves international intrigue, or just a deranged beauty queen creating her own cult on live television.  However, this time the team may have met their match, as the travel to the island nation of Hidalgo to investigate why their president has cut all diplomatic ties with the U.S. Government.  When The Strangers find out that their arch enemy O.C.C.U.L.T. may be involved, they realize something is seriously wrong, and make plans to infiltrate the island.  Unfortunately, the team is not aware that the villains on the island are more than ready to deal with each one of their extraordinary abilities.

The first issue may remind readers of a classic television show from the 1960's, complete with opening credits and a closing sequence that is reminiscent of shows from that era, such as The Avengers and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Oni Press has once again hit it out of the ballpark with this new series.  Great art by Scott Kowalchuk, fantastic colors by Dan Jackson, and an incredible cliffhanger will motivate readers to pick up the next issue, which is scheduled to hit stores on July 17th.  Good News: If you missed the FCBD issue, Oni will be releasing a new edition of the first issue on the same day that Issue #2 is released, to bring new readers up to speed.

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