The Threat #1
Written by Mark Schmidt
Art by Jordi Perez Estevez
Letters by Mark Schmidt
Cover by Tucker Doud, Phil Smith and Vince Chuter
Release Date: June, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99
Independent comics are all about passion and drive. And nowhere is this more evident than with Stratum Comics and their first comic The Threat #1. The fact that it is produced here in The Lone Star State only makes it that much cooler. These folks tried to help fund it through Kickstarter, though it unfortunately missed its goal. But the fact that they still managed to make this happen is a testament to their need to breathe life into their dream.
This premier issue takes place in Houston, one of the few places that retained some sense of civilization in this future Earth. We start to get a sense of the division between the common people and the few people that control this city-state. Though not much of a story is laid out, we get to meet a lot of characters and learn a few tidbits about them. The main theme seems to revolve around those known as Virals. These Virals are enhanced humans, though we aren’t sure exactly how this happened… at least not yet.
Mark Schmidt seems to be the head honcho on this gig, not just scripting the comic but lettering it, too. Jordi Perez Estevez gives us some great linework to match up with a pretty detailed story. The only complaint I could possibly come up with would be that this comic could use a colorist and an inker, just to give the art a bit of depth. Overall, though, I found this to be a great first issue, on par with some of the books that the bigger, more established companies turn out.
Do yourself the justice of owning this one. No guarantees on independent comics making it in the long run, but with the potential I see in this issue it easily could. I reviewed this from the digital version, but contacted a friend in Austin to find me a first edition ASAP. Normally I would wait to see how it goes for a few issues, but I believe this to be a worthy cause and want to make sure I give a few bucks to ensure it’s survival. And if they get another Kickstarter going, you can be damned sure I will donate and push my friends to do the same. It’s three bucks. Buy it. Hell, it’s cheaper than a bowl of chile con queso!