Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Scott Kowalchuk
Amid a pile of preview stories, reprints, and undisguised advertisements, only Oni Press can be counted on to deliver top-notch material each and every Free Comic Book Day.
This year, they launch The Strangers, a new series by writer Chris Roberson and artist Scott Kowalchuk. This book is a bit of a Cold War mash-up, taking elements from The Avengers (the British TV show), Mission Impossible, and Doom Patrol. The titular Strangers are a trio of secret agents with some superhuman abilities, who mostly work to stop OCCULT, a villainous group in the Hydra/Cobra vein.
OCCULT appears to have taken over a small Caribbean island, and so our heroes set out to infiltrate it. They discover that some sort of ruins are being dug up in the jungle, but don't get too far in discovering the plot before being captured.
The book feels like it was written for Roberson's iZombie collaborator Michael Allred, but Scott Kowalchuk is a good substitute, providing art that feels like an homage to the days of Kirby and Ditko, while remaining fresh. I'm not sure if this is the first issue of a mini-series or an ongoing, but Roberson strikes the right balance between introducing the characters and keeping the story flowing. I wasn't sure if I was going to preorder the second issue (available, along with a version of this book that you have to pay for, in the new Previews), but now I definitely am. Good stuff.