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!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #17 (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 and superhero comic book collectors! We are about to return to the Ultraverse through The Strangers. Before doing so, I’d like to discuss one of their members named Elena La Brava AKA Lady Killer. Before the big incident that changed her life and those of her eventual teammates riding the cable car in San Francisco, Elena worked professionally as a fashion designer. She is quite resourceful, brave and organized. Apart from proving to be a very valuable member of the team, she has the special ability to track and this results helping her hit what she aims for. As seen in previous issues leading to issue #16, she has been romantically linked with Atom Bob and has struggled also on leading the team.

With those details mentioned, it’s now time to look back at The Strangers #17, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and illustrated by Rick Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins at the headquarters of The Strangers. Spectral arrives late and apologizes to his teammates who are already feeling disturbed by the Pilgrim. Lady Killer makes an issue about Spectral’s tardiness and reminds him he has not seen the Pilgrim as he was absent. Spectral replied emotionally stressing that he had to attend to his private life.

When asked about the Pilgrim, Grenade replies that nobody knows who their antagonist is. In recent times, the team faced off with various costumed individuals in two encounters and the Pilgrim appeared each time and took them with him. Each time, the Pilgrim swore he would continue to get back at The Strangers until he builds up a team large enough to oppose them.

Knowing that the Pilgrim will keep coming back at her team, Lady Killer states she has a plan…

Quality

The start of a pretty solid battle between the Pilgrim and Atom Bob.

The writing for this comic book is, as expected, very strong and undoubtedly it is a great follow-up to what happened in issue #16. Instead of just another encounter between The Strangers and another antagonist which turns into an opportunity for the Pilgrim to come out and do his thing, this one has a lot more compelling stuff backed with surprise and intrigue.

Before the big conflict happened, this comic book showed more of Lady Killer’s intelligence and her ability to organize something that is believable to read. Atom Bob, who missed out on the battle of issue #16, is more involved in this comic book and his battle with the Pilgrim was not only heavy on the spectacle but also showed more of his capabilities and his willingness to achieve something.

Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of what I would call the usual visual goodness from artist Rick Hoberg here. He continued to show a consistent high level of quality when drawing the characters, their expressions and making the superhero action scenes look spectacular.

Conclusion

The Strangers meeting early.

The Strangers #17 (1994) is a very good read and what I love about it is that it further added to the build-up of the growing opposition against The Strangers while at the same time developing the core characters more. You will see more of Lady Killer’s leadership values here and eventually, you’ll admire her more. I should state that Rafferty, a serial killer in the Ultraverse, had a notable presence in this comic book and added some impact to the plot.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #17 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, The Strangers #17 (1994) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #16 (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, geeks and comic book collectors! Here is another trip back into the Ultraverse, which for me is the most defining line of superhero comics that was realized in the 1990s. The UV lasted for only a few years and along the way publisher Malibu Comics got acquired by Marvel Comics.

History aside, we are about to explore The Strangers again in the sixteenth issue of the monthly series that was spearheaded mainly by the creative duo of Steve Englehart and Rick Hoberg. Here is a look back at The Strangers #16, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Englehart and drawn by Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in a local community in California wherein one of the houses is hosting a block party. Already a disturbance to the neighbors (note: police officers had to temporarily close down a short stretch of the public road and restricted others from getting near), the said party offers people a chance to meet in person Atom Bob who has his teammates with him.

During a private meeting, The Strangers discuss what they encountered lately (note: this refers to their encounters with Gangsta and Brazen. Also involved was someone called the Pilgrim. As they keep talking, Lady Killer stressed that they all need to be ready for further encounters.

Meanwhile in the downtown area of the city, three costumed characters (who previously road a cable car just like The Strangers) are plotting something…

Quality

Meet the opposition.

Let me start first with the art done by Rick Hoberg with ink work by Tim Eldred. I should state that since issue #1, Hoberg not only drew characters, places, creatures and backgrounds with his captivating style, he also maintained a high level of quality and proved he can bring any comic book script into life with images. His art is so good, this comic book is fun reading again and again. I should also state that the coloring for this story is very lively and more dream-like in style thanks to the color design by Moose Baumann and interior color by Prisms.

When it comes to the story, this comic book’s concept is pretty unique and Steve Englehart deserves credit for coming up with something fresh while still leaving room for spectacle and characterization. The idea of a block party held in the middle of a community of family homes celebrating the presence of superheroes is cool and it opened up new ways to define the characters not to mention emphasizing how their presence affects people not on the city level but on the local community! Having worked as a local community newspaper journalist myself, I know what’s it like when local communities have special activities or events that bring together (or captivate) the neighbors. Along the way, the dialogue is varied (note: lots of characters other than The Strangers had lines), the portrayal of The Strangers is consistent and the story’s pace flowed smoothly.

Speaking of characterization, there is notable focus on Atom Bob and Lady Killer who already have feelings for each other. As the home of Atom Bob’s family serves as the venue of the party, you will get to see the character interact with the local neighbors and others he personally knew for a long time which is a very refreshing way of developing him. Lady Killer meanwhile tries to maintain balance between being the team’s professional leader and having feelings for Atom Bob while trying to respect his parents.

And then there is a growing group of ultras who intend to destroy The Strangers. It was at this stage in The Strangers monthly series in which a genuine opposition against the title team really started to take shape. The good news is that the Pilgrim and the other opposing ultras were not portrayed as generic bad guys but people who are struggling and have a cause.

Conclusion

The Strangers and the guests at the party.

There is no doubt that The Strangers #16 (1994) is a whole lot of fun, very compelling and intriguing to read from start to finish. Anyone who loves the title team will find something to enjoy and follow, while those who keep on enjoying the conflict between good-and-evil will find something new and entertaining here. Steve Englehart and Rick Hoberg not only continued to deliver high-quality superhero stories with The Strangers, they really were one of the best creative duos of the 1990s.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #16 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, The Strangers #16 (1994) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #12 (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 and superhero comic book geeks and collectors! Today I will be reviewing another one of the Ultraverse anniversary celebration comic books. Apart from the usual superhero stuff, there is a touch of historical fiction in the UV anniversary comic book I reviewed and I can say that, if ever more people out there will discover it, it can spark more discussions and even debates about a certain figure of world history as well as the relevance of indigenous people.

Now we can proceed with this look back at The Strangers #12, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Rick Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the middle of the thick jungle of a floating island. Yrial, who has spent significant time with The Strangers representing her tribe, is held captive by her own people inside a crystal. She is being accused of betrayal of her tribe as a consequence of her involvement with her teammates from the civilized world. Yrial denies the charges and insisted that the rise of The Strangers signifies that their solitude is over.

Eventually Grenade, Zip-Zap, Lady Killer, Electrocute, Spectral and Atom Bob arrive to fight in an attempt help their trapped teammate. The action halts as soon as Lady Killer tells Chief Aula that they know the great secret as they have been to the other side (refer to the previous past issues leading to this)…

Quality

The fictional tribe is definitely cursed for they lived with sorcery, idolatry and rituals sourced from ancient evil.

I will start first with the storytelling. Steve Englehart’s writing is excellent and he clearly did his research about a key part of world history and made an intriguing and compelling fictional story out of it. This is, in fact, one of the most intriguing superhero stories of the 1990s that I have ever read and it is a very lively reminder that storytelling alone can impact readers deeply when it is greatly made.

With regards to the historical fiction aspect of this comic book, I should state that doing a fantasized version of the European explorer Christopher Columbus and connecting him and his crew with the history of the in-comic tribe was a stroke of genius. This was indeed the main selling point of this comic book!

Rick Hoberg, who worked a lot with Englehart and set the definitive look of The Strangers, made great visuals and the images are also much more diverse given the historical fiction aspect of this comic book. Hoberg really brought Englehart’s script to life and his visuals look finely paced with the narrative.  

With regards to the emphasis on magic, it should be noted that it is an abomination and in the context of the story, it is a cursed thing and not really a strength of the in-comic tribe. As for the other world (and the demons it is filled with) that the tribe is aware of, it symbolizes the realm of evil. By the end of the story, you will realize that the tribe living on the floating island are indeed a cursed people and not merely isolated using magic. They are also idolaters and practice rituals sourced from evil long ago. For meaning, learn from the holy scriptures below and you will realize that you would NOT want to be like the story’s tribe. You are better off following Lord Jesus and believe in His salvation.

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)

Wonderfully blessed are those who wash their robes white so they can access the Tree of Life and enter the city of bliss by its open gates. Those not permitted to enter are outside: the malicious hypocrites, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, murderers, idolaters, and every lover of lies.

Revelation 22:14-15 (TPT)

Conclusion

The team nicely drawn by Rick Hoberg.

Among the anniversary issues of the Ultraverse I have reviewed as of this writing, I should state that The Strangers #12 (1994) is the best one yet! Entertainment value aside, the focus on Christopher Columbus and indigenous people should interest people who have varying views about them. Christopher Columbus remains a divisive historical figure as some people admired his achievements on world exploration while others condemned him as an evil, bloodthirsty man who negatively impacted indigenous people he encountered. Whatever your views of Columbus and indigenous people are right now, I recommend you read this comic book. For those who love superhero stuff, you will find a lot to enjoy here.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, The Strangers #12 (1994) is highly recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Mantra #12 (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.

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my continuing effort on reviewing Ultraverse comic books of Malibu Comics from the 1990s. This time we will continue on the crossover between Mantra and The Strangers that started in The Strangers #13.

What I enjoyed most in The Strangers #13 is the interaction between Mantra and members of the superhero team as well as how Boneyard (mortal enemy of Mantra’s) impacts them. It comes to show that careful research of the characters and planning were done to ensure not only a very good story but one that makes mixing Mantra and the Strangers together memorable.

Will the high quality of story, art and crossing over continue? We can find out in the 2nd chapter of the Mantra-Strangers crossover in Mantra #12, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Mike W. Barr and illustrated by Terry Dodson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Mantra and the Strangers facing Boneyard, his companions and demons. Boneyard has Atom Bob held captive for his magic use. Determined to kill Boneyard, Mantra draws first blood by blasting one of the demons. Due to having weakened powers, Mantra struggles in battle until Electrocute helps taking the other demons off.

As the battle goes on, Boneyard (aided with Notch’s power) makes his move towards Mantra and touches her body with his….

Quality

Action in the city.

The script written by Mike W. Barr (in coordination with Steve Englehart of The Strangers) is pretty solid in the sense that it took the interactions between Mantra and the Strangers a few levels deeper which paved the way for some character revelations and further development of varied personalities. To say the least, this one is pretty wordy and there was clear effort to define the characters even as the struggle went on. There were also common things between Boneyard and Yrial that was nicely explored when it comes to their respective abilities.

This comic book daringly touched on gender issues, particularly with the ever unholy topic of homosexuality (note: read 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 in the Holy Bible) and even rape. There was this lesbian kiss scene between Electrocute and Mantra. Also it is made clear that even though Boneyard knows Mantra really is male warrior Lukasz occupying a female body, the said villain still wants to mate with the protagonist.

On the visuals, I found this one really looking odd even though it was credited to Terry Dodson. His art here really looked cartoony, so much so it’s almost as if someone else drew it. Try comparing Dodson’s art here with what he did in issue #1 and you will see what I mean.

Conclusion

At the coast.

While it is well written, I should say that the crossover between the protagonist and the featured superhero team could have ended better. Compared to the conclusions of the Prototype-Strangers and Hardcase-Strangers crossovers, Mantra #12 ended up lacking punch. As an anniversary issue, it is serviceable.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Mantra #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $8.

Overall, Mantra #12 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #13 (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.

Crossovers between major individual characters and major superhero teams within the Ultraverse are often fun to read mainly due to the high talents involved who made such fantasy concepts good. Before, The Strangers had a crossover with Hardcase followed by another crossover with Prototype. This time, the superhero team will have their first crossover adventurer together with another major Ultraverse characters…Mantra!

You must be wondering who are what will Mantra and the Strangers be facing. We will find out in this look back at The Strangers #13, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Mike Gustovich.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins inside a facility when the Strangers are surprised by the arrival of police cars outside. Upon meeting the police captain named Rome, the Strangers learn that the police need their help as an evil ultra is on its way to San Francisco.

As the Strangers scramble, Mantra’s foe Boneyard is inside a commercial airline and his presence easily disturbs the passengers. Boneyard punches a man for raising his voice and telling him to put down a child he carried. Boneyard is carrying a young boy using him to have leverage over the passengers and the flight crew.

Some time later, the airplane lands on the tarmac of the airport and Boneyard comes down as the Strangers and the police await him. It turns out, Mantra’s foe wanted a meeting which baffles the Strangers. Boneyard tells them that their actions let some demons free and have placed his life in grave dangers.

As Boneyard and the Strangers talk, Eden Blake watches intensely and changes into Mantra…

Quality

Mantra with Electrocute and Grenade.

This comic book’s story is very well written and it should not be surprising given Steve Englehart’s extensive experience as a writer. He really knows how to structure carefully a plot, get different superheroes get together and work for a common cause. That being said, Boneyard’s entry into the pages of The Strangers series was notably seamless (note: Mike W. Barr of the Mantra series was the one who developed Boneyard as the villain) and believable. When he met the Strangers, I sensed tension brewing which eventually turned into excitement once Mantra (who encountered The Strangers during the Break-Thru crossover) gets involved.

Character interactions, especially between Mantra and the Strangers members, is quite engaging to read. While the most sensible conversation Mantra had was with Electrocute, her talk with Spectral was the most awkward. There really is something worth reading.

When it comes to the artwork, Mike Gustovich’s work is serviceable at best. He worked on this comic book as a guest illustrator temporarily taking over the place of regular artist Rick Hoberg. His art is not bad, just satisfactory.

Conclusion

Mantra meets the Strangers again.

The Strangers #13 is entertaining on its own and the fact is it is only the first part of the Mantra-Strangers crossover. It is a solid start to say the least, and I should state that Steve Englehart captured nicely the respective personalities of Mantra and Boneyard, and he succeeded in mixing up the said ultra with the team. This comic book, by the way, is one of Malibu Comics’ flipside issues (a 2-in-1 comic book with each side being its own issue) and on the other side was Ultraverse Premiere #4. The Ultraverse Premiere side has a main story featuring Prime and a short story focused on Lady Killer of The Strangers.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #13 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $8.

Overall, The Strangers #13 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #8 (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.

Hey comic book geeks and Ultraverse fans? It’s been almost two months since I last reviewed a comic book of The Strangers which had a nice crossover involving Prototype and in outer space no less! Crossovers within the Ultraverse were well done and nicely planned by the creative people at Malibu Comics.

If you want to find out what followed next, then you’re in the right place as I’m about to present a look back at The Strangers #8, released in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Rick Hoberg and Steve Shroce.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the Strangers having arrived back on Earth, safe and sound. As Lady Killer greeted “happy landings” to her teammates, Grenade recalls what they had done recently…stealing the rocket from the powerful J.D. Hunt. They were greeted by lots of people at Edwards Air Force Base in California and immediately the nosey journalists ask them repetitive questions.

A man confronts them and tells them to come with him for a debriefing. As the encounter was about to turn into a conflict, a uniformed official (who was granted control by the commander of the base) intervenes and took sides with the Strangers. According to him, the Night Man just prevented two murders from happening on the base. He then grants the Strangers possession of the rocket…

Quality

The conflict over Yrial.

As with the previous issues of The Strangers, this one unsurprisingly had a well-organized story structure which was brought to life by the illustrators and others who worked on the visuals. While it is a fact that the Strangers just got back from a misadventure in outer space, the suspense and excitement never faltered once they returned home. When it comes to character development, the one who stood out was Yrial whose wisdom and loyalty got tested when a chief from her tribe told her to return to them since her teammates learned the secrets of their powers. Of course, the team trusts her a lot and don’t want to lose her. Once again, the Strangers find themselves at odds with Yrial’s people and how the story was presented here is great to read.

Conclusion

Things got hot right after arriving.

The Strangers #8 is a solidly fun comic book. Its pace to keep the reader engaged, entertained and in suspense never faltered one bit. At the same time, this comic book had some fresh ideas and twists that are worth reading.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #8 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $10.

Overall, The Strangers #8 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #7 (1993)

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.

In a previous review, Prototype #5 served mainly as a build-up leading to the crossover between the armored superhero and The Strangers. While that comic book had a cover that looked suggestive, Prototype and the group did not appear together until the final page.

The payoff for the crossover happens to be in The Strangers #7.

Will the crossover be worth it? Find in this look back at The Strangers #7, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart (shared plot credit with Tom Mason and Len Strazewski) and drawn by Rick Hoberg. This comic book is part of the Break-Thru crossover.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

Picking up where Prototype #5 ended, the story begins inside the space station wherein The Strangers encounter large, ugly monsters just as Prototype and his two companions – Empire 7 from Vietnam and Supra from the Baltic States – arrive. Equipped with high technology, Prototype proceeds to help the Strangers surprising them as a result.

After some struggle, Prototype, the Strangers plus Empire 7 and Supra start talking about what has been going on. As far as the Strangers are concerned, they need to know why they got their powers which explains why the needed J.D. Hunt’s rocket to reach space. Supra explains that she, Empire 7 and Prototype were sent to reclaim Hunt’s rocket.

After Prototype insists on reclaiming the rocket, Grenade strikes him which leads to Yrial to using her magic on him. The armored hero reacts by bodily attacking Yrial and damaging the wall behind her leading to outer space…

Quality

22
A nice scene between Prototype and two of the Strangers.

As this comic book was wonderfully written, I do confirm that the payoff for the build-up leading to the crossover between Prototype and The Strangers was undeniably worth it! There is a lot of richness in the script and I really enjoyed the interactions between the Strangers and the armored ultra.

I should state that the plot was structured to have the heroes together for initial interaction, have a few of them separated temporarily, bring them back together for unity and separate them into small groups as they search for answers.

In between, there is a lot of character interaction and development. These are the elements that defined this comic book and by the time I reached the end, I managed to grasp how the connection (as well as the level of trust) between Prototype and the Strangers turned out. Along the way, there were a few sub-plots and even some exposition on the in-universe history of ultras (emphasized by Empire 7). There were also some action scenes to balance things out with the characterization.

With no surprise, the art by Rick Hoberg here is great. I should state that his art on Prototype made the character look recognizable. More importantly, Hoberg drew the characters, the monsters and the environments with a good amount of detail. This is hard work that nicely paid off!

Conclusion

2
The first interaction between Prototype and the Strangers.

I really enjoyed The Strangers #7 and it definitely paid off nicely after the build-up to the crossover established in Prototype #5. If I were to make comparisons, the crossover here is just as good as the Hardcase-Strangers crossover. I should also state there is a good amount of fun here.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #7 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition is priced at $8.

Overall, The Strangers #7 (1993) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Prototype #5 (1993)

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.

Previously, I took a look back at the two-part Ultraverse crossover story between Hardcase and the Strangers. It was, indeed, an enjoyable reading experience as a whole to see Hardcase and Choice have an adventure together with the Ultras who previously gained powers while riding a cable car in San Francisco that got hit by energy from the sky. The way the crossover was done resulted an entertaining story and even added to the continued development of some of the characters involved.

This time we examine another crossover of heroes within the Ultraverse by taking a look back at Prototype #5, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski (with Steve Englehart on the plot) and drawn by Roger Robinson.

Cover
Now this is a smashing cover!

Early story

The story begins at North California facility where the Strangers – Atom Bob, Grenade, Electrocute, Zip Zap, Yrial, Spectral and Lady Killer – break in and bring down several uniformed personnel. Their purpose is to get into the rocket and make their way to the moon.

Quite conveniently, the Strangers wore space suits, get into the rocket (the JDH-3000) and launch successfully. This upsets the rich and powerful JD Hunt who rejects the idea of destroying the rocket. The next morning at the office, Hunt is very mad over the fact that his rocket has fallen into the hands of ultras. Knowing where exactly the JDH-3000 is heading, he tells one of his staffers to get him Gordon Bell as he plans to send someone up there to bring it back…

Quality

15
Visual build-up of the crossover between Prototype and the Strangers.

To put things in perspective, Prototype #5 is a well-written part of the big Break-Thru crossover of the Ultraverse that happened in late 1993. On its own, it forms the first part of the crossover between Prototype and The Strangers, and it sure is loaded with a lot of build-up (of key elements within the Ultraverse) and exposition.

In terms of writing, this comic book moved at a medium pace with strong emphasis on build-up. What I really found intriguing here is the politics of the fictional corporate world within the Ultraverse. There were these very powerful corporate executives communicating with each other, and there was JD Hunt who intensely joined a meeting blaming Gorden Bell for costing him billions of Dollars. The corporate politics here are actually connected with Prototype and the Strangers.

As this is a build-up comic book, you won’t get to see Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz the pilot to be precise) physically together with the Strangers until very, very late in the story. In fact, there is a lot development and a few character introductions to go through before Prototype (with two foreign companions developed by his corporate handlers) leaves for space.

Conclusion

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The corporate forces behind the Ultraverse.

Being heavy on exposition and light on spectacle, Prototype #5 is a decent Ultraverse comic book to read. If you were expecting to see Prototype together with the Strangers for the majority of the comic book (note: the cover art is quite suggestive), you will get disappointed. However, this comic book builds up mainly on other elements of the Ultraverse, specifically the corporate forces behind the scenes. By the time you finish reading Prototype #5, you will gain a better view of what causes events to happen and how they affect the ultras. The ending of the story, I should say, is compelling enough to make you anticipate what would happen next in The Strangers #7.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prototype #5 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4. The near-mint copy of the newsstand edition meanwhile costs $13.

Overall, Prototype #5 (1993) is satisfactory.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #3

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.

Right from the start, I got hooked with The Strangers and kept on anticipating the next stories. When it comes to superhero comic books, I am fond of superhero teams like the X-Men, the Teen Titans, Freex, Justice League and WildC.A.T.s

One of the things I enjoyed most from The Strangers #1, which was one of the launch titles of the Ultraverse, was the characterization. Each member of the Strangers was efficiently introduced and his/her uniqueness (apart from having a special ability) caught my attention. And then there was the plot structure that kept me reading for more.

When it comes to the very good quality of storytelling and characterization in The Strangers #1, it should not be much of a surprise since the author Steve Englehart worked on Marvel’s The Avengers, The Defenders and the West Coast Avengers. Englehart also wrote Justice League of America for DC Comics.

With that short history lesson done, we can now take a look back at The Strangers #3, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and illustrated by Rick Hoberg.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the Stangers already in battle with a group called TNTNT composed of Tyrannosaur, Naiad, Torso, Neu-Ronnie and Tugun. The heroic ultras find themselves struggling with their opponents. Just as Tyrannosaur punches one of the Strangers, he states: We want our victims to know us! The work we do precludes us from receiving our proper recognition elsewhere! We are the kings of destruction and death!

The fight goes on…

Quality

14
Really in-depth characterization in this flashback.

Let me make it clear to you all that this comic book is mainly a huge battle between the Strangers and TNTNT. However, it is not exactly the overly long, battle royale at all nor is it a brainless story. In fact, at key segments of the comic book, the narrative switches between the battles and flashbacks that not only explain what happened since the end of issue #2 but also showed other events that happened during the Strangers’ free time.

The flashbacks showed the Strangers interacting with each other like normal people. There was this nice scene showing Atom Bob and his teammates visit his parents’ home and have a nice dinner together. It was also during the flashbacks where the character development really got deep and by the time the story ended, I got to know the Strangers even more.

Going back to the long battle, it is clearly a showcase of spectacle in the form of superhero action and the use of their special abilities. Unsurprisingly, Rick Hoberg’s visuals really brought the script to life here. Really good imagery here and there! Also I should say that Hoberg’s designs on the members of TNTNT were really good, even comparable with the Strangers’ designs.

Conclusion

7
This is just a taste of the action-heavy battle.

The Strangers #3 is fun and compelling to read. What makes this different from issues #1 and #2 is that following the narrative (which switches between the present day battle and the character-driven flashbacks) can be challenging at first. As such, this is a comic book that needs to be re-read in order to fully understand the story. It has a lot of action, super powers showcased and enough character development! Finally, I should say that Steve Englehart and Rick Hoberg crafted a pretty powerful build-up leading to the last page.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #3, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $8.

Overall, The Strangers #3 is recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com