Stranger Visitor Striving to Be the Best
Many cultures teach the importance of striving to be the best, but when you’re the best at ending lives, what cost does that exact on a person’s soul? This kind of question has been examined in popular fiction and cinema, from Quentin Tarantino’s two-part (maybe three) opus, Kill Bill to Luc Besson’s brilliant Leon (known as The Professional in the United States). Even John Cusack had something to say about it in the 1997 gallows comedy Grosse Point Blank: “Some of these guys need some kind of ethical philosophy to justify it, some guys like ‘live free or die,’ but that’s all bullshit, I know that now, that’s all bullshit. You do it because you were trained to do it, because you were encouraged to do it, and because, eventually, you, you know… get to like it.”
For example, in the comic book world the most popular ender of men is James Howlett, sometimes called Logan but most commonly known as Wolverine. In his more than hundred years of life, he’s killed a lot of people. A lot. In the process, he’s lost the love of his multiple lives not once but twice, he has a son who loathes him and he has blood feuds with many, many serious people who would love to see him ended. His every step is hounded by government agencies, by spandex-clad super villains, by ruthless people of every stripe. He drinks and fights seven days a week to numb the pain of knowing every horrible thing from his life.
On another point of the spectrum is DC’s Lady Shiva, who is listed as “one of the most skilled combatants in the entire DC Universe,” and is frequently trotted out as a Worf Effect (which has been said about Wolverine at times as well). She’s another character with a grandiose body count who has given up love, motherhood, friends and heritage. She lives a much more solitary existence than Wolverine, and her pursuit of ever more ways to kill people exists as her only reason to carry on.
The common thread — Martin Blank, James Howlett, Sandra Wu-San, Beatrix Kiddo and the eponymous Leon — is that these people are stuck in their solitary nature. “I didn’t get into this business to have any relationships!” Martin Blank yelled. “Loner, lone gunman – get it? That’s the whole point!”
Stranger Comics takes this motif into the fantasy genre with their new release, Silver Blood. In this story, Skarlok is one of the silver elves, a race known for their viciousness, and among them, he is the most skilled, making him the most feared killer in the world, “the king of assassins.” He finds no acceptance even among his own people. He is considered a traitor, one who committed regicide and lives as an outcast. However, when he finds human hands involved in trafficking and selling his people, he’s pressed into service, death mark or not.
To bring this kind of relentless skill into focus requires a deft touch, and writer Sebastian A. Jones is perfect for the job. He brings his experience from creating The Untamed, another haunting tale of revenge and bloodshed that was so gripping that it got Hollywood heavyweights involved, now able to claim Watchmen producer Lloyd Levin, Shopgirl producer Andrew Sugerman and Eureka creator Andrew Cosby as stakeholders. With the artistic help of Tomo as a painter and Darrell May on layouts, the visuals are striking and crisp. This January, Silver Blood comes to Wowio and the world will know the shadow he casts.