Comics Anonymous


If there’s one thing that’s frustrated me about The Standard…’s that I can’t pre-order it……and John Lees helps build that case with issue #3 of his own creation.

Following the twists and turns of an epic issue #1 & 2 (reviewed here) we see the complex story and great edge-of-your-seat plotting take hold of us and slap some old-fashioned sense into us…..”Good on you Standard!”  There’s a subtle under-current here as we have the harsh reality of the world we live-in pointed out, showing it’s brutality from a crime-fighting point-of-view.  Where bank-jobs and quirky villains like “The Skunk” have given way to a new-age of sick crimes performed by sick people.


What’s most interesting here is that we have both old and new crime-scenes play out alongside each other…..with interesting flips between today and a flashback to the earlier days of the Standard.  A GREAT approach to storytelling which maintains the parallels and comparisons being made from page one.  Another key element to this issue, as in #1 & 2, is the vein of humour that also helps keep the feeling of realism to a superhero tale from the age old puns to the real-life reaction to an old-generation getting back in the crime-fighting game.

The Standard is still focused on tracking down the missing girl and we’re sucked in by the underground world The Standard discovers along the way….not to mention the crime against the children of the city that he tries to make amends for.  True to his word, the Standard fights until the end to save the missing girl and we close this issue with the triumphant return of The Standard being declared.

I can’t go any further without mentioning the artwork from Jonathan Rector – who’s managed to produce an almost Spawn-like cover as well as a seamless switch between modern times and the good old days of crime-fighting with a great level of detail.  Maintaining the aged detail of The Standard’s face, the spandex-like costumes of old school villains and the dark sinister edge that’s needed for the underground layer of our modern-day villain.  Kudos goes to Mike Ganon for colouring the issue and for Kel Nuttall on letters – an accomplished group involved in a top title on my pull-list.

The indy market for comics just now is just so fresh and rewarding and it’s fitting that John’s named his title “The Standard”…..I can only assume it’s a co-incidence but he’s managing to throw down the gambit and compete against some of the bigger titles flooding the comic book shelves these days with a lot of success.  Keep up the good work guys – you’re making this comic book nut more than happy….roll on the rest of this 6-issue gem.

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