New from Image is a series called Storm Dogs. This got me particularly excited because I get to see David Hine (Spider-Man Noir) and Doug Braithwaite (Universe X) working together again. “Brave and Bold” was back in 2008 and this is something different, exciting and way out of your normal sci-fi thriller. It’s nice to take a break from my the usual Marvel reviews while I wait for the next issue of Saga comes out.
Our story begins with a group of native “Joppa” of a planet called “Amaranth” who spots a Union ship in the distance. In the ship is a crew of international investigators who are traveling to solve strange deaths that have occurred on Amaranth. We meet Maska and Cassandra who tell us a little bit about the two main inhabitants; Which consist of the “Elohi” and the “Joppa”. The crew say their last good-byes to their close ones via holograms and touchdown to meet our earlier group. We are cleverly introduced to these natives, Bronson and Commander Burroughs. We also are introduced to Doctor Jared and Siam Locke, who make up the rest of the Union crew that are in charge of this investigation. The crew head out and learn that there is a storm heading their way. Though the natives are reluctant to work under these conditions. The Union crew want to push through and go explore even under the bad weather. Moving on, there terrain vehicle is suddenly mauled by a group of giant creatures and they are forced to put on suits that protect them from the rain. A member of the group named Diego, along with others, die in the most brutal and mysterious way after they abandoned ship and were exposed to the weather during their attempt to shoot their way out of the attack. The crew decides to brave the storm. Commander Burroughs calls them “Storm Dogs” and explain the meaning. Apparently back when the original settlers in this planet set to explore, they would send dogs out during this storm. The dog’s would go crazy once the rain would touch their skin and that is where the title origin comes from. Once everything cleared up, Doctor Jared went to open the suit worn by Diego, after he was seen walking and falling to his death. His insides were completely melted. This first issue ends with the first appearance of the second inhabitants of the land, the Elohi.
Let me start this review by saying how creative this world is. It reminds me of a spaghetti western mixed with a very vivid, space, woodland setting. They are two opposing creations that are blended very well. The introductions to our main cast was well written and was not at all the least bit cheesy. The dialog was well thought out and impressive. I like that I can read a comic book with mature dialog and feel so casual. The book has some of the most colorful scenes and what really got me was when they opened up Diego’s suit and all you could see was this steamy, puddle of boiled organs with his bones exposed. That was very repulsive and is a plus for me because I love great detail. Every page had an array of great panels filled with amazing backgrounds, settings and characters that all felt well thought out. One thing that Image Comics has never failed me is their awesome selections of comics that have amazing cover art. Both Doug and Sue Braithwaite continue that tradition and made theirs impressive. Great choice in design, it’s very minimal and not too busy, yet you can’t help the trend in detail with this comic. I can’t wait to read the next issue and hopefully this series will fill in as the series I read while I eagerly wait for the next issue of Saga. I give this awesome start to a potentially amazing series a 9 out of 10