I love Oni Press and just think most of their work is fun. You can tell they have a true love for comics. I mostly pick up their graphic novels though and wanted to test the water with their floppies. My thoughts were that Mysterious Strangers would replicate that feel that I love about Oni so much. I think I may have jumped into Mysterious Strangers with a weird issue. Not much happened, and I would hate to bad mouth the series after just one issue, so I will open my mind to this comic, but I can only judge what I have seen in this particular issue. What I liked was the set-up of the comic. We get a flashback of what happened last issue, and then at the beginning, we get introduced to the Strangers’ characters. It felt like a TV introduction all that was missing was the music. It was fun and allows for you to get excited about the events about to follow, much like a TV intro would do. I also love the art in the series. It has those pop elements with simple pencil lines. The facial expressions are simple, and half the time they have their eyes drawn closed with only lines, but I dig it. This type of art reads different; a less serious tone to me. The colors, as said, read like pop art, and it all adds up to some amazing visuals.
Our Strangers include Verity, Michael, Sandoval, and Quince. With only one issue, you get a pretty good idea of who is who. I think that is impressive to do, and I am confident Oni very lightly does this in every issue. I thought I would be lost with jumping into a new team, but it was easy to pick up. The gang is up against this group named the 10th Imperium. It is a Nazi type group that can travel across the multiverse. The group has lost a ship though, and will not rest till they have found it for fear of groups stealing their technology.
The comic was very wordy in places that I wanted real action. It is very “telling me what happened” and not so much “showing me.” I can’t say that I was completely thrown off by this, but I did find myself yawning at some points. For example, Verity turns these aged people back into their younger selves, and we don’t see this even though it was a big part when dealing with the 10th Imperium crew and ship. The comic instead just has her explain how the old people got turned back. And then Michael has some sweet impulsion happen and the group just explains the results out. With the impulsion, we do get a picture with no real hype about it though. It was very anticlimactic. At some points, the anticlimactic attitude fit perfectly into the comic. It actually added some humor. But having this all the time got to be a tad tiring, and this was just one issue.
For me, this issue gave me the chance to see what Oni is doing outside of graphic novels. I would love to check out more of their comics, and hope Mysterious Strangers explores some more action sequences for me.
Writer: Chris Roberson Artist: Scott Kowalchuck Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/20/13