Filed under: Comic Reviews, Image Comics | Tags: blood, IMAGECOMICS, JUSTINJORDAN, kickass, lutherstrode, TRADDMOORE
Some of the recent publications at Image have really taken a dump in both DC and Marvel’s front garden. While many comic fans are furiously trying to get hold of ‘all 52’ or every ‘point one uncanny regenisis red team book’ they might miss some really brilliant comic books that will give more reading pleasure, more laughs and more ‘oohs and ahhs’ than any rehashed reboot.
Luther Strode is an exceptional comic book, but not the exception to Image’s rule. If you still think Image is all about SPAWN and not worth your trouble, you need to re-read their solicits and think again. For the money many of you are paying to read all of the DCnew52 Bat-Books or all the Schism X-Books you could drop one you aren’t really enjoying (you know there is at least one!!) and try something new, something off the wall and unlike anything else in your pull list.
The Strange Talent of Luther Strode is not a comic book that makes you hang on until you’re umpteen issued in before things really get going. Issue 1 kicked things off in a beautifully bloody style and you can read my review of it here. In issue 2 Jordan lets us get to know his characters a little better, but more so how set-ups and relationships are changing as Luther’s ‘strange talents’ develop. The characters are not unusual so in issue 1 we didn’t suffer from a lack of pages and pages of ‘getting to know you’.
After Luther broke the school bully’s nose at the end of issue 1 he returns to school to a chilly reception and the now completely and comically unintelligible bully who is keen to rectify his recent embarrassment by smashing Luther’s face in. Right away, at the start of issue 2 we get a sense of how Luther has changed. He is looking bigger and a lot more muscular for a start, but its in how he responds to a friendly pat on the back from his Pal that shows off his lightening reflexes and slightly overactive ‘Spidey-Sense’.
That isn’t all that’s changed for Luther, the delightfully off-beat and edgy rocker girl Petra is now making it clear that she is interested in him! I love the cartoony effects with the panels as Petra leans in close to Luther. She is joking with him but she is so close she makes him stumble over his words. There are no sound effects here but you can still hear his heart ‘BA-BOOM BA-BOOM BA-BOOM’. Shortly after this she pulls him towards her by his shirt to kiss him. Luther seems like a giant next to Petra, especially his hands. The lovely-dovey high-school pink love-heart background contrasts so well with the slightly damp green/ blue of the rest of the school panels. No wonder it looks damp, Luther must be sweating!
At the beginning of issue 1 there was some extreme, and as yet, unexplained ultra-violence. There is more of it in this issue and it is drawn with unbelievable inventiveness. i’m pretty sure Jordan and Moore had a lot of fun planning these scenes but I wouldn’t accept a lift, or a lollipop from either of them were I to run into them at a con. The mysterious purveyor of crazy violence is also moving closer to Luther.
Because the characters in ‘Luther Strode’ are so accessible we don’t need to know everything right away and can have fun reading the story and discovering what is going on at the same pace as the characters. The team behind this book must be doing something right because when I’ve collected my weekly comics the past 2 months this has been the first book I’ve read. And I get a decent sized pile.
The art is strong and Moore’s style is totally appropriate to the story. The design and layout really gets me as its almost like the perfect balance between the traditional and the widescreen. Jordan also writes like a total fucking pro – no unnecessary dialogue, in fact he can go for panels without none and yet the story still moves at breakneck speed. This is the perfect high school superhero story and is littered with pop culture references that will make you smile. You should be pre-ordering this book.
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