Strayer #2 Review

Posted February 26, 2016 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Justin Jordan

Art by: Juan Gedeon

Publisher: AfterShock Comics

What’s immediately striking about the second issue of Strayer is how different it feels from the debut issue. Perhaps this is pure conjecture, and I was just in a different state of mind when reading the two issues. However, where Strayer #1 felt pretty serious, there’s a lot more levity to be had in the second issue. It’s not like the main characters are cracking jokes every couple panels, but there is a bit more humor. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there isn’t a giant robot trying to destroy an entire town for the bulk of this issue.

Don’t misunderstand –  I welcome the lighter tone. It doesn’t really detract anything from the character development and world building that drive this issue, so why not have some fun? Anyways, with this issue, the creative team doesn’t really waste much time adding some depth to the book. While I enjoyed the first issue, I gave it a lot of points based on its potential, and I’m pretty sure it all came with the caveat of “well, who knows if this will actually go anywhere?” Fortunately, it looks like Justin Jordan is headed in the direction of adding depth to the characters and to the plot, in addition to the world building that began in the first issue.

With this issue, the two leads (Strayer and Mala) are definitely beginning to slip into more defined roles. Much of this comes courtesy of the dialogue – the opposite of the previous issue. There’s definitely a lot more of that here, and it’s something that Jordan certainly excels at. In addition to being humorous, the dialogue serves to really make the characters worth investing in.

While there is a lot more dialogue, there is, fortunately, plenty of page space left for Juan Gedeon and Tamra Bonvillain to flex their artistic muscles (look, I know that phrase is an overused cliche, but it seemed appropriate in this instance). The art continues to be an important part of the story telling, and there’s a lot that it communicates more efficiently than some of the dialogue. The first three panels we see Strayer in this issue, for instance, are absolutely perfect – the angling, the facial expressions, the body language – it all just clicks. This is obviously only a single example, but if I wanted to go in depth about everything I loved about the art, a single review simply isn’t enough.

So at this point I’ve talked about the writing and the art as if they were separate entities, but I think in the case of this book it’s important to stress how well they coalesce. The two inform one another, which is especially important when it comes to world and character building. The two elements of the book feed off of one another, and it definitely feels like the members of the creative team take cues from one another. The result is a comic that is not only enjoyable, but an excellent experience overall.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.