By Kurt Sutter, Caitlin Kittredge, Jesus Hervas and Adam Metcalfe.
What a great book!
Kurt Sutter, TV Producer and creator of Sons of Anarchy, proves with issue #1 of this new 6-issue series that you can shift from one medium to another. Sutter is not the first person already successful in TV or film to think they can jump into comics. However, unlike a lot of those other folks, Sutter isn’t failing. He’s a great writer for sure, but part of the credit for this book’s initial success has to be given to his co-writer, Caitlin Kittredge (Throwaways). Kittredge knows comics, and she’s great with character development. The book’s title, Lucas Stand, is also the name of the main character and we get what this guy is all about from the first page. He’s not a good man by any means, but despite that fact, we are practically rooting for him by the time the action really picks up. And, boy, does the action pick up!
Nothing is held back in the premiere issue, which hopefully means it’s only going to increase in momentum. It’s too easy to refer to Stand as an anti-hero. He’s more complex than that, and Sutter and Kittredge give us enough backstory to realize the guy is struggling with his own personal demons as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. The hook with this comic is that Stand’s personal demons take a back seat to actual demons…from Hell! Once again Lucas Stand finds himself enlisted, although this time it’s in service to something greater than a military outfit. Upon attempting to take his own life, Stand finds himself thrown into what can only be described as time-traveling-demon-hunting. Again, nothing is held back and we get a taste of everything this series promises to be in the very first issue. Lucas Stand the character has made unforgivable mistakes and his life is a total wreck. It’s unclear if Stand will add to his personal disasters or if his new path will somehow leave him exonerated, but that lack of clarity is one big reason to keep reading.
Likewise, Jesus Hervas (Hellblazer) draws the comic without pulling any punches and he covers a lot of ground. Between the action sequences and the more dialogue-heavy moments, Hervas keeps delivering one spectacular panel after another. His style is gritty and quick using just enough lines to convey his subjects. Hervas’ characters have weight and motion to them even when standing still. Make no mistake, the way he draws is deliberate, leaving the reader with a design that fits the writing perfectly. We get the information we need in order to follow what is turning out to be a full throttle, high-octane storyline.
Colorist Adam Metcalfe (The Tomorrows) pulls it all together outstandingly and you might say he’s the perfect fit for this style of art. He picks up where Hervas leaves off, and interprets the line work just right. Burning reds and yellows sit alongside deep blues creating definition and dimension where there may otherwise be little contrast. Entire pages are rendered in monochromatic pigments until there’s a peak in the action and those bright yellows and reds return with force. In short, Metcalfe’s work makes for expert storytelling.
Overall, there’s a lot of potential for this comic. Only time will tell if subsequent issues will be as successful as this first one was, but the book is sure to create some chatter at your local comic shop. Bottom line is, if you see this comic on the shelf, grab it, and if you don’t see it, demand your comic shop order it pronto.