STRAYED #5, out Wednesday, December 18th from Dark Horse Comics, is a dramatic conclusion to the series. Lou and Klara’s journey has come to an end, and it’s a bittersweet moment all around.
Strayed #5 concludes the series involving an astral projecting cat. And readers can only ever hope to have a cat as loyal and loving as Lou. Okay, and as powerful. Though power does come at great cost, as this series has been intent to prove to us.
Strayed was an interesting series, all things considered. It’s the story of a cast who would astral project; his loving owner, who invented a way to communicate with him; and a greedy government, who found a way to use and manipulate them both.
It isn’t every day that a comic series comes out that is absolutely perfect for cat lovers. And yet that is exactly what this series had to offer. Carlos Griffoni (author), Juan Doe (artist), and Matt Krotzer (letterer) found a way to crack open our hearts, leaving us unsure how to feel about the series concluding.
Strayed #5 was an issue without any conversations. Instead, it was comprised entirely of Lou’s thoughts – a running monologue of what was happening on the panels. And a voice working their way through what had to come next.
In that sense, this issue had an interesting twist on the writing style. It didn’t read like a normal issue. And in some ways that actually added to the emotional intensity of what was happening. But in other ways it allowed the readers to take a step back.
This issue was largely ephemeral, in a sense. Lou’s grasp on the physical world was always tenuous at best, and now he’s losing even that bit of grounding. Despite this challenge, Lou’s determination to get the job done as a powerful thing to behold.
One thing is for certain, Griffoni set up a conclusion that is sure to leave readers misty-eyed. All endings are bittersweet. But some tug at us more than others. And Lou was a good boy, even if his journey was only a few issues long.
One of the most striking things about Strayed #5 is the artwork. It also boasts one of the best covers of the series – which is saying something. This series has always had such a way of showing the strange and alien through vibrant colors and artwork. And this issue was no exception.
The scenes portrayed in this issue were…unique is perhaps the best way to put it. Lou took some strong measures to complete his goal; the sort of actions that could only be done by an astral projecting cat. They were dynamically drawn and colored, lending life to the plot.
As mentioned above, Juan Doe was the artist for this whole series. And thank goodness he stayed on until the end. Strayed just would not have been the same without him. His grasp of organic life and power is unparalleled in many ways. And we hope to see him pop up in another series in the near future.
Matt Krotzer was the letterer for this issue, and that means he was responsible for making the (internal) monologue fit the pages. That is a task easier said than done, as those words are what gave weight to the imagery.
Strayed #5 was a bittersweet ending, through and through. It is one of those issues that will make you think. And perhaps it is not the ending fans imagined. But it is the ending that they’ve been building towards this whole time.