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Picks of the Trade: The Legend of Luthor Strode

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By Justin Jordan, Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro

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The most metal of all the faces.

After the success of The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode—you can download the first issue for free right here http://www.lutherstrode.com–back in 2011, writer Justin Jordan and artist Tradd Moore return with The Legend of Luthor Strode and, unlike most sequels, they manage to outdo themselves. Legend takes the established world of Luthor Strode from Strange Talent, fast forwards five years and really shows the growth of this character and mastery of his abilities.

To call Legend cinematic might seem like I’ve gone too far and have finally let my inner fanboy run wild, but you’d be wrong. Justin Jordan has a great eye for pace, even if said pace might be faster than most are used to, as well as action. The six issues that were collected in volume two do speed by, but it’s a steady pace and doesn’t move too fast, if you pick up what I’m dropping. The pace is designed in such a way that the reader isn’t bored and has no time to really let their mind wander to what the cat’s doing or what those ten texts and two phone calls you missed are about because there’s just no time.

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MOVEMENT! This might not be the best example, but it’s an example.

The flow is just… right. Jordan has this story and its characters down to a science. Every issue leaves you a heck of a hook and the ending satisfies while also leaving you wanting, and excited, for more. This is quite possibly some of, if not the best work from Justin Jordan and if you’ve liked anything else he’s written this, along with Strange Talent, demands your attention and most certainly needs to be on your shelves.

Now, combine all of the above praise for Jordan’s writing and style with the insane talent of Tradd Moore and you’ll start go get the picture about why this is so cinematic. Tradd Moore’s style is his own; it’s unique and it’s got a ton of movement in each panel. When talking about movement on the scale that Tradd Moore has perfected, there’s very few who can compare. James Harren (BPRD) comes to mind, but even that is its own entity. Moore’s pages, specifically the brutal and bloody fight scenes, literally seem to move. You can imagine this book on the big screen, or even some badass cartoon series, and it could be shot almost scene-for-scene based on Moore’s panels; they’re that good. He has a way with movement that makes a lot of other books just look subpar.

Talk nothing of Moore’s consistency, even during some of his trickier angles and panels, because as with anything he does it’s spot on. He knows his characters, he knows their emotions and he nails them consistently throughout the book. His work on Strange Talent opened my eyes but Legend tore them off. If that was too graphic, or not graphic enough, take a look at this spread and get a sense of just what I’m talking about:

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Oh, the gore!

I don’t know if it’s as easy to articulate my feelings towards this book as I think. Hell, I don’t know if anybody will understand what I’m trying to say other than the obvious, and that’s you need this book in your life—an argument can be made that I’m never sure if people understand me…but even if you just like the panels I’ve scattered throughout this column, and completely ignore my blathering, go pick it up. This is something special from these two and it’s something that not only gets me excited for more work from them (especially Moore on the upcoming Ghostrider from Marvel) but it makes me excited for the next chapter in this story. It really, truly won’t come fast enough but I’ll be waiting.

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