Actionverse #1 Stray
Dog on a bone
Actionverse #1 Stray “The Rottweiler” years part one starts off in the present day as now once faithful sidekick/teen-hero to The Doberman has now grown up and out on his own, now going by the name “The Stray”. New York City seems to be on the boiling point and he is trying to keep it from escalating into a full-scale war! While chasing down a criminal a name comes up that he has not heard or thought about in a long time. The name brings him back to his time as teen hero/sidekick “Rottweiler” and when he formed the first teen-superhero group. Will the Stray’s memory help him solve this present day mystery or should he leave the past alone?
I am firmly impressed with Vito Delsante writing in Actionverse #1 Stray, this is my first introduction the “The Stray” and all of these other characters in this Universe (I am not sure at the moment if Spencer and Locke are a part of the Actionverse?) and did not feel lost or confused in the least bit. He gives a great character introduction to The Stray and we get what he is all about in 2 pages. Delsante also does a great job of switching the voice of the characters when the story jumps to the past, it is a great contrast of the upbeat optimistic young Rottweiler from the hard boiled been there done that of The Stray. He also tells a really good teen-superhero story and I am really enjoying the process and team building he is doing with this series.
Actionverse #1 Stray incorporates two different artists and two different colorists in the issue. Sean Izaakse handles the pencils and inks and Chris O’Halloran handles the colors on the first five pages of the book. The first five pages are really great, the action is dynamic and the scene structure flows perfectly with the story and the colors make the character of The Stray jump off the page. The art on the first five pages really gives off a Daredevil type feel, the way the character is built and moves. The team of Izaakse and O’Halloran do a great job on these first five pages helping tale a story with great sequential art, it is too bad that does not hold up for the final 6-22 pages. This is when the story flashes back and Lee Gaston takes over pencils and Inks while Wilson Ramos Jr. does the coloring work and it is a big departure from what the first five pages where.
Now I understand the style change up to signify the flashback, but it is a very drastic change. While the first five pages have a more realistic tone to the art Gaston style is a lot more “cartoony” and more animated feel to it. The panel structure switches from the very dynamic, flowing feel to a more standard structure that really slows the story down and just feels very “basic” to what we were given in the first few pages. The characters also feel very stagnate, even in action sequences there is no sense of movement or impact. In some of the panels the view seems off from what it should be, characters placements seem odd and it is really just a complete downgrade from what we started with in the story. I do though enjoy the switch to the brighter colors by Wilson Ramos Jr. they look really good and help give the flashback story that “youthful” feel to it.
Actionverse #1 Stray is a very interesting comic, I love looking back on a hero’s past and seeing how he came to be and how it will affect his future, the writing is superb in this Issue. The first five pages of the series will have the reader clamoring for more, but the resulting pages are a bit of a turn off for the series. The story will have me coming back for more, while I hope the art can be improved upon in the next issue or so.
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