Boom! Studios 2016
Created by Kurt Sutter
Written by Kurt Sutter & Caitlin Kittredge
Illustrated by Jesus Hervas
Coloured by Adam Metcalfe
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Alright so i’m a sucker for first issues we all know that and I try to read and review as many as possible so you’ll know when something new and exciting comes out. Kurt Sutter is an American writer, producer and actor, Sons of Anarchy and the Wire, and this is his creation. As we open up and meet Lucas there are any number of possibilities that run through your mind. Suffering from PTSD hooked on Oxy and alcohol, full of rage and lost in world where he’s not in the army the possibilities are endless. This however takes a route I hadn’t expected and for that I’m thrilled and grateful!
The opening really does gives us a very strong look at Lucas’ personality and what he’s going through. It’s gripping, powerful and unfortunately all too common among our veterans and I think that’s a huge part of it’s appeal. The stark brutal honesty in his portrayal who looks at his life and doesn’t know how to cope with his new reality or move forward really strikes a nerve here. Actions however have consequences and after what we see Lucas has decided upon his.
Then about halfway through we learn that despite his best intentions Lucas’ story is far from over. No he doesn’t go vigilante on the world or become some kind of enforcer or anything like I had originally imagined, or the cover may suggest. No instead he’s being drafted to fight again in a war he has no understanding of and that isn’t being explained to him. He thinks this whole initial encounter is his dying brain’s last big middle finger expression before he dies.
I thoroughly enjoyed his “recruitment” dialogue. This was both interesting, fun and mesmerizing in ways that while Lucas doesn’t understand what’s happening neither do we as a reader. We kind of get the jist and that’s all well and good but it’s open to enough interpretation that you find it intriguing and want to know more.
After that initial encounter he’s thrust into a mission, one he’s not prepared for or understands. It’s trial by fire if you will and there’s more than just him at stake here as we see and meet his partner in this. For now it’s Cyd, and she’s French and you’ll have to see the two interact to understand the story and what’s happening, i’m not going to reveal that it’s too spoliery for me to do that. It does go a long way in explaining some of what you can expect from this series though. For now it’s literally Lucas’ trial by fire and I gotta say it’s one of these unexpected delights you find from time to time that with every page you find something new to surprise you.
Jesus does a very nice job with the interiors here. He’s got a great eye for storytelling, using the pages and panels to dictate its flow. It may seem a little more simple but for what the story entails I think that suits this. He lays the groundwork on characters/characteristics and then let’s your imagination fill it out and that’s powerful stuff. Also his use of backgrounds, not in every panel, is smartly used here.
Overall it’s a strong debut and an interesting story that isn’t what you’d expect. That makes it worth your time.