Boom! Studios 2018
Written by Kurt Sutter & Caitlin Kittredge
Illustrated by Jesus Hervas
Coloured by Alex Guimaraes
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Military vet Lucas Stand has been forced to hunt demons on the orders of his master Gadrel. Now he has finally managed to break free and strike out on his own. However, his actions have garnered him a formidable reputation and it’s not just the demons who are after him this time…
One of the things that I liked about this issue is that we pick up from where Lucas left off and at the same time if you didn’t read the first arc, A. Shame on you and B. go get the trade, the whole thing is actually new reader friendly. There is enough reminiscing about what he’s been through to get to where we see him that not only is it a great refresher but it also tells you what you need to know. They do a great job in that aspect and for those familiar with the series so far well you get what’s happening on a whole different level.
I love the way this whole thing is structured because with the fact that Lucas is able to weave his way around the timeline finding and killing demons as a sort of bounty hunter and now finds himself beholden to no one well he’s lost. The fact that he’s lost and doesn’t realise it is great to see. The writing here is very impressive as the story and plot development are in complete sync to the characterisation. This allows them to really make a unique kind of impression upon readers and that is part of the reason why your eyes become glued to the page.
There are a few other things that come to mind that also contribute to how this is such a strong read. Aside from Lucas’ reputation that regardless of what time period he’s in which makes that even more impressive is that he is clueless. He’s the kid in class who never paid attention and kind of just skated by. He doesn’t know how his compass works, doesn’t know how to fix it and doesn’t know why it’s broken. He just didn’t care enough as he’s been wallowing in his own self-pity at how he got himself into all this.
Last issue ended with him being used by Penemue and Gadrel being disposed of and that left Lucas to his own devices and gave him someone else to focus on. That’s what Lucas needs, he needs that one thing to drive him to do something otherwise he’d do nothing and have no purpose. That’s how I think he sees himself and to have this kind of characterisation to get under his skin, understand him in a way that’s extremely rare is astounding.
Jesus and Alex do some wonderful work on the interior artwork here. The creativity and imagination is on display throughout the book and the demon/vampire thing we first see yeah that’s what would whole series are created around because they are extremely frightening. The way page layouts are done so that we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a very strong eye for storytelling. The attention to detail is amazing and the colours pop and are vibrant when need to be and muted and dark when it calls for it. Backgrounds are used here in smart ways to expand the moment or time period he’s in and that helps us with the whole scope of what’s going on.
This really is a hard hitting, exciting thriller that uses science fiction and the supernatural in ways that are new and interesting. You aren’t going to find a series like this anywhere else it’s a singularity and as such it need no deserves your attention.