Stroper #3



Stroper3Palpably pedestrian in its pace, at least until its titular character decides to tangibly intervene when two “knuckleheads bumped into my stuff”, Eddie Porter’s narrative for Issue Three of “Stroper” seems far more concerned with progressing its plot and introducing more mysterious inhabitants of his colourfully-populated Galactic Union, than the usual clichéd phaser firing obsessed antics some arguably lesser writers might have been tempted to employ in order to overtly place their lead protagonist in peril. In fact, nearly all of this digital only publication’s foreboding aura of jeopardy is actually created simply by the look upon Pak Booker’s well-illustrated face rather than any space-faring shenanigans, as the mullet-haired hunter helplessly watches the space police discover his criminal carry-ons and subsequently becomes embroils ever further into the bloated bureaucracy’s “deep corruption” by becoming one of the so-called law’s lackeys.

Such detailed visual story-telling won’t admittedly be to everyone’s taste, as the author’s reliance upon his highly-stylised artwork to ‘push things along’ instead of using a plethora of text-filled speech bubbles, could cause some readers to fleetingly skim through this periodical’s thirty-one pages at a disconcerting tempo which does little to no justice to the visual effects artist’s illustrations and probably left them feeling somewhat unsated. However, for those more willing to soak in the sheer breath-taking scope of the Red Moon of Banktar with its “walking mountains” or the cosmopolitan hubbub of “the sleaze pit of a place” known as the Dome, there’s a lot to see as an ever-blanching Booker continues upon his “journey for redemption” and becomes increasingly resigned to his hapless fate when he’s gloatingly informed by the authorities that “you will be sent away for a long time.”

Just as enjoyable, though pulse-pounding in a far more physical way, is Pak’s rather one-sided punch-up with two “dirtbags” who seem intent on selling a bound young woman to the highest bidder simply due to her bloodline being “worth a lot of credits.” The ensuing fisticuffs are as savagely frenzied as the drawings dynamically animated, and alongside demonstrating that despite his increasing years, the “old man” is still clearly able to more than hold his own against two low-level thugs, also provides this comic’s cliffhanger ending with a jolt of energy which should make many bibliophiles desperate to know just who this mysterious lady is who can apparently “handle a ray gun like any other swinging d#@k on this side of the galaxy”…

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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