A Look Back at The Strangers #18 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back Ultraverse fans, superhero enthusiasts and comic book collectors. In this newest return to the Ultraverse originally launched by Malibu Comics and its many talented creators, we will witness what is supposed to be the rise of genuine opposition against The Strangers which was seen building up in issues #16 and #17.

To start with, the character called Pilgrim is quite intriguing being the apparent central figure that wants to smash The Strangers. Along the way, other ultras that opposed the said team end up getting involved with Pilgrim.

Will all these developments lead to the establishment of a powerful force against The Strangers? What can team leader Lady Killer do about it? We can all find out in this retro comic book review of The Strangers #18, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story by Steve Englehart and drawn by Rick Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins on sky island. The Pilgrim and his companion appear right next to Zara (one of the members of Yrial’s tribe) telling him, “I am the Pilgrim, Zara! I want you to help me destroy the Strangers!”

Even though the Pilgrim continued to elaborate more on offering him revenge on Yrial, Zara thinks that the foreigner is insane. Zara uses his magic powers while the Pilgrim activates his own special abilities.

Meanwhile on Pier 25, Grenade tries to regain Candy’s trust who recently started distancing herself from him. Grenade decides to let her be but remembered clearly that the division started since the Pilgrim showed up.

Over at Berkeley, the old ultra called Powerhouse looks for a job. Suddenly the Pilgrim appears to him and attempts to recruit him in his quest to destroy the Strangers. Like Zara of sky island, he doubts the Pilgrim, finds him insane and attempts to strike him.

In another location, flying in the air, Yrial tells Spectral that she feels the power of the Pilgrim is closing in on them. Inside the Strangers’ hangout, Bob/Atom Bob and Elena/Lady Killer spend quality time together. Bob expresses worry about the one that wants to destroy them (note: he fought with the Pilgrim in issue #17) and, in response to the lady’s question, he states that his arm is pretty much back to normal thanks to Spectral’s healing green flame. After further talk, Bob asks her, “Will you marry me?”  

Quality

The battle begins!

As expected with the Englehart-Hoberg creative team, the story is fun and engaging to follow from start to finish. For one thing, apart from the rising opposition led by the Pilgrim, the character development for Bob and Elena as well as the rift between Electrocute and Grenade were executed nicely, even serving as a fine build-up before the story shifted into high gear with spectacle. Expect lots of action and banter between the characters fighting. This is one very wordy comic book to read and it sure is worth it!

Behind all the good stuff, there was even room for a nice surprise by the creative team and that is something you must read for yourselves. That alone made this one an intriguing read as well.

Conclusion

The rift between Grenade and Electrocute.

There is no doubt that The Strangers #18 (1994) is a very entertaining comic book to read. Apart from the solid character development and the big bonanza of action, this comic book highlights the effects of the Jumpstart not only the Strangers themselves but also on other people. At this stage, the Pilgrim has evolved into a more meaningful character and he simply cannot be dismissed as just another villain nor another anti-hero.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #18 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, The Stranger #18 (1994) is highly recommended!

+++++

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