STRAY #1

DIG049747_1
Written by Vito Delsante
Drawn by Sean Izaakse
Published by Action Lab Entertainment

Dan Weller was a masked vigilante called The Doberman, who fought crime with his martial arts/athletic skills and a variety of high-tech weapons. Through flashbacks we learn that 11 years earlier his wife died (or maybeshe was killed, no specifics are given) and Dan decided to begin training his young son Rodney be his partner. After 2 years of training, Rodney is ready to make his debut as The Rottweiler. He’s introduced to a group of superheroes who are part of time that Doberman belongs too, and although they initially object to the idea of young boy (his age isn’t specified, but appears to be around 12-14) joining them, the team relents and Rodney soon proves himself as a crime fighting.

Cut back to the present day, and we see Doberman in full costume fighting a shadowy figure who beats him and then tosses his body out of a highrise building. Somehow by the time the police arrive and find his body on the street, he’s not only been stripped naked (so they are unaware that he was The Doberman) and his entire body has been drained of all blood. As the police attempt to ID the body, we catch up with Rodney who is now an adult and working as a party promoter and a drug dealer. His career as The Rottweiler is a thing of the past but a confrontation with some rival promoters/dealers shows that he still maintains his athletic skills. The drug he deals is called Gsmack, and it’s actually eyedrops that young people do at parties and it makes them feel like superheroes. But not with actual powers, as one unlucky user soon learns and this leads to Rodney being taken to jail where is confronted by a homicide detective who knows a lot more about Rodney and his father’s lives than Rodney anticipated.

Thus the story ends with a cliffhanger. This is a very good first issue. While the leads are obvious analogs for Batman and Robin they still feel unique enough to stand on their own. Vito Delsante gives us plenty of information to follow the story but still leaves plenty of mystery to keep you hooked for the next issue. We still don’t know what happened in the intervening years that drove Dan and Rodney apart, and how Rodney got into his current line of work. I’d also like to learn more about that superhero team that saw, and where are they now. And, of course, the big mystery of who killed Dan/The Doberman (could it even be Rodney?). Color me intrigued. And I also very much enjoyed the clear artwork of Sean Izaakse. Together they give us a beautiful-looking and captivating superhero murder mystery.

STRAY #1

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