Just like any good villain, Stray Dogs is a series that just will not die. After a brief hiatus, fans of the original series can pick up Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 this week. The miniseries serves as a prequel to the original series that came out earlier this year.
Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 gives a glimpse into the lives of the dogs before they ended up in their current situation. For readers of the original series, it provides depth and additional emotion to an already heartbreaking story. Tony Fleecs does an excellent job of making each story unique and believable. Even with the impending doom, the lives of the dogs bring moments of joy. For example, we find out that Gucci was a bit of a social media sensation, and Imogene was a rambunctious pup at one point. Six of the dogs get a chance to shine in this issue, while the other six will be the focus of a second issue set to be released later.
As well done as the stories are, there are some sticking points. While the dogs take center stage as expected, a few stories ignore the missing owners completely. It is something small, but it sticks out in the grand scheme of things. Additionally, who is writing the missing dog posters if the owners themselves are also missing? The Gucci story comes off as the most realistic. With an owner who consistently posts their adventures on social media, a sudden and abrupt message from the sister pleading for help finding her sister and her dog clues readers into the reality of what happened.
If you were a fan of the art in the original story, the good news is that the art here is just as good. The art does an excellent job of catching the various emotions of the dogs. The love and joy they have for their owners jumps off the page. Anyone who owns pets of their own will catch all of the feels. Just as poignant are the scenes where the dogs witness their owners’ demise. The fear, anger, and helplessness all are felt as the deaths take place off-panel. Much like the art that it is part of, the colors pop within the panels. Bright and vibrant colors offset the horrors of the stories that are taking place.
While Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 is not a must-read, it provides a complement to the original series. Like any good horror story, I found myself several times yelling for the victims to run the other way. But of course, that never happens. Fans of the original story will find a bit of bittersweet joy in seeing the lives of some of their favorite dogs.