Aftershock is calling this The Year of Reading Dangerously. Their newest comic, Stronghold by Phil Hester and Ryan Kelly, embodies that tagline. In this thriller, there’s something mysterious going on, the stakes are high, characters you care about are struggling and you can’t wait to read what happens next.
I recently heard Phil Hester on John Siuntres’ Word Balloon Podcast. Each week, Siuntres conducts engaging interviews with comic creators. Hester talked about his fascinating career for much of the interview, but he elaborated on the premise of Stronghold. While he didn’t spoil any of the surprises, I think his insights (a) made me more eager to read the series and (b) gave me just enough backstory to get a head start on the narrative.
In Stronghold, there’s this guy with superpowers. But with a few twists. This guy doesn’t really use his superpowers often, and it’s unclear really how much he understands his “powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men”. Meanwhile, there’s this whole organization (kind of like U.N.C.L.E. or S.H.I.E.L.D.) that’s dedicated to clandestinely monitoring this individual. And the series’ lead, Claire, is a young agent who spies on the guy with superpowers. Continue reading “With Further Ado #032: Only the Strongest Shall Survive”