REVIEW: 'Stray Dogs' #2 by Tony Fleecs, Trish Forstner, and Brad Simpson

Something doesn't smell right! None of the dogs know what happens behind that door at the end of the hallway. All they know is there's a punishment for sniffing around it. What secrets are hidden in the Master's Forbidden Room?


Writer: Tony Fleecs

Artist: Trish Forstner, Brad Simpson

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: March 24, 2021

Cover Price: $3.99


★★★★☆ (4/5)

One of the best suspense stories in comics is as adorable as 'Lady and the Tramp' and as tense as 'Rear Window.' 'Stray Dogs' debuted a month ago and was an instant hit. The combination of Don Bluth-style character designs from Trish Forstner juxtaposed with Tony Fleecs' chilling script was the perfect remix for an entertaining thriller. Issue two continues the mystery as Sophie and Rusty investigate as best they can despite her short-term memory. 

Rusty has been giving Sophie the benefit of the doubt regarding her claims that their master killed her owner. Without evidence and her shaky memory, it's going to be tough to convince the other dogs. The two decide to see what he might be hiding in his private room the dogs are forbidden to go into. The ensuing scene is a familiar one as they snoop around while the owner is out but the tension is undeniable. It's an anxiety-ridden sequence that is simply nerve-wracking. Some tropes last the test of time because they're still just as effective as when Hitchcock was doing it and Fleecs has nailed it here. 

Forstner and Brad Simpson have a flawless style that belies the sense of doom that surrounds these adorably illustrated characters. You can't help but root for the dogs just as you would expect to in a Disney animated film but here there some tension that hangs over them. Simpson creates two palettes for the story. One is more subdued with earth tones at the home of the dogs and the other is a more bright sunny color scheme from flashbacks to when Sophie was with her owner. The stark contrast sets the mood for a much darker story. 

'Stray Dogs' #2 combines elements of 'Memento' and 'Rear Window' to great effect. Fleecs provides some anxiety-inducing situations that ramp up the tension and terror for our furry heroes. It's become a treat to open up another chapter of this suspenseful series and get a monthly dose of goosebumps.   



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