Series: Lucas Stand (1 of 6)
Writer: Kurt Sutter & Caitlin Kittredge
Artist: Jesús Hervás
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
“What’s to Love: Ever since we first saw Sons of Anarchy, we knew creator Kurt Sutter had an amazing comic book story in him. Now we’ve got it in Lucas Stand, his first, original comic book series. If you’ve been looking for a new antihero like Jax Teller to root for, Lucas Stand fits the bill.
What It Is: Lucas Stand is a military vet who can’t reintegrate into society and has emotionally cut himself off from the people he loves. At his lowest, Lucas does something he can’t take back. Hell comes calling, offering him the opportunity to make things right. Demons escaping Hell are upsetting the balance of evil, and now Lucifer has recruited Lucas to send them back. It doesn’t matter in what era the demons escape—World War II, old-timey Hollywood, Vietnam, present day—he must learn to fit in both the past and the present. Given new purpose, Lucas starts to rebuild himself and his life, even as he struggles at the human cost that comes with it.”
If I could only use three words to convince you to read a comic, what three words could I say to you, you personally, to persuade you that this book had immeasurable potential? Something like, “Action, intrigue, and excitement”? Or, “Fun, suspense, and adventure”? OK. That’s all well and good. All of those words are things you’d find in good comics. However, I’m going to choose to use three different words to express to you why you need to read Lucas Stand. Those words are: Demons, Nazis, and Time-Travel. Yeah yeah, I know “time-travel” is two words, but I hyphenated it so I win. Still though, doesn’t seeing those three things make you go, “I’m listening…”?
If you only glanced at (or skipped over entirely) the official summary above, this comic was conceptualized and written by Kurt Sutter, most famous for creating “Sons of Anarchy”. The common thread between those two shows is their brilliant use of moral ambiguity, so if you’re aware of that difference and enjoy the exploration of gray areas it won’t be hard for you to make the leap to this story. Lucas Stand is a whiskey chugging, hardened former soldier with a bad back and a sailors mouth. He’s painfully aware of his insignificance and figures no one on Earth will miss him when he’s gone. Little does he know he’s completely underestimated his importance on a separate plain of existence.
The plot has a lot of grit, and the story takes enough dark turns that if you’re the kind of person (like me) who shamelessly indulges in stories with debatable levels of redemption you’ll be hooked. There’s one twist in particular, just under half-way through the issue, that took me completely by surprise. That’s what Sutter is good at though, throwing a wrench into the plot and making you wonder just how in the hell they’re gonna come back from that. Caitlin Kittredge co-writes with Sutter, and if you’re not familiar with her work, she is the creator and writer of the beautifully morbid Coffin Hill, from Vertigo comics. That series was built on the dark side of supernatural concepts so by partnering Sutter’s knack for gritty characters with Kittredge’s penchant for writing unnerving stories about underworld creatures I think BOOM! Studio’s has a real hit on their hands here.
The artwork here is great, solid comic art. Jesús Hervás (Hellraiser, Hitman: Agent 47) has a very 90’s-esque style and it works perfectly for these characters and the world being built. There’s a page near the end that has a building as the background and when I first saw it I thought to myself, “Wow. He drew all those lines.” His attention and commitment to detail is extremely noteworthy, and that very final page… Man. It is a sight to behold. (Also, how about that main cover by Lee Bermejo? It’s like a damn painting or something. I love it so much.)
Colorist Adam Metcalfe (The Tomorrows) completely knocks it out of the park also. He’s incredibly versatile and carefully changes the color tones of each section of the story so that it flows well and as the reader you’ll barely even notice. This is the worth of a truly talented colorist.
All in all, Lucas Stand #1 is a bad-ass first issue in what is certain to be continually explosive series. The story is crazy enough to grab your attention and the art is engaging and accessible. The ending will leave you desperate for the next issue, which is the mark of a great comic. Pick yourself up a copy of Lucas Stand #1 at your local comic shop today, or find it on Comixology.
I think the perfect musical accompaniment to this comic is a little Black Label Society. Something rough and hellish, but not completely without heart.