Dark Horse’s cat-centric series, STRAYED #4 is out this Wednesday. Lou’s unique tale (no pun intended) continues here, as he learns the true consequences of his actions. This is one series sure to tug at the heartstrings of any cat lover in the audience.
Strayed #4 is the second to last issue in the series, and as such it’s got a lot of development to get through. After all, it has to set up for the dramatic conclusion of the series. All while giving us more time to fall in love with adorable little Lou.
In the last issue of the series, we saw Lou forced to confront the truth of his actions. Now we see the direct consequences of his realization. And what exactly he’s going to do about it. This is a moment we’ve been waiting for since we first heard about this series. And it’s finally here.
Written by Carlos Giffoni, this series has had its ups and downs. It took us a little while to become invested in Lou’s tale (with the exception of the cat lovers in the audience – we were sold from the start). There were more questions than answers in the beginning. But over time, the story has unfolded, revealing a universe full of complex beings and motives.
And one very obviously bad guy running an evil corporation. We really didn’t need to know more than that to hate him, did we? Alright, we were seeking a bit more information about his goals or motives, which we have gotten in a piecemeal format.
Then there’s Lou. For such an adorable cat, he sure has one unique gift. The last few issues have taken the time to show us how he came into being, how he can communicate. And most importantly, the price he pays each time he’s sent off on a new journey. The last issue left is concerned about Lou’s fate, as he had pushed himself harder than ever.
With all of that in mind, Strayed #4 leaps into being. Lou has been forced to face an awful truth – and it’s one that he helped build, albeit unknowingly. But Lou is a sweet cat, one not content to let all of these horrendous acts of genocide slide. And that means he’s about to start acting out.
This was the plot described to us when the advertising for Strayed first began. And thus, this has been the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Lou’s adoration of his owner isn’t enough to stop him from taking a risk because this risk is required in order to do what is right.
This whole time we’ve been wondering what Lou would do when it came time for him to start resisting. And now we finally have an answer to that question. It’s not the answer we expected. But it does fit in well with the characters we’ve come to know, and with the story as a whole.
The conclusion of this issue, once again, has left us eager to see what will happen next. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the series will have enough time to wrap things up, given that there’s only one issue left.
Strayed #4 has some of the most brilliant and striking artwork of the series, and that’s saying something. Juan Doe outdid himself this time. There are several two-page scenes to be found within this issue, and they’re all worthy of praise.
Doe’s representation of Lou’s astral projected form is beautiful, elegant, and unique. It’s the highlight of the series, in many regards. And that is why this issue was so stunning since Lou spent a tumultuous amount of time in that form. Doe managed to capture the strife Lou was facing, all while showing off what makes the series so wonderful.
Matt Krotzer was the letterer behind this issue. And as usual, he did an ideal job. There were plenty of sound effects worked into these pages, and Krotzer kept them fresh, all while not interfering with the iconic artwork.
It’s hard to believe that Strayed is almost at an end. And yet, Strayed #4 did its job well, setting up for the final issue. The stakes have been set, and Lou is finally in action. And it looks like he might be learning a new ability or two, just in the nick of time.