The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #1
Oh, sweet hyper-violence, how I have missed thee. I'll be up front and admit the following: this comic is certainly not for everybody. But this reader right here was sold in the first two pages. Here's a little play-by-play, just to give you an example of what I'm talking about. Man gets arm ripped off. Said arm is shoved down other man's throat (which logically gets torn because of the arm's fingers). Same arm obliterates another man's face. Like I said, this may not be for everyone, and keep in mind that the rest of this issue is much more tame than what I just described. However, if you can muster through what I just said, then jump on board -- you're in for a great time with what is one of the best debuts of the year.
When Justin Jordan named this comic The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, he wasn't kidding. This guy has quite a few talents, which include incredible reflexes, strength (he can catch bullets in his muscles and remove them through force), and knowing how to kill people. He seems to do a lot of that. While I'm sure there will be more killing and oh-so lovely hyper-violence to come, this issue was much more of an introduction to our protagonist, Luther.
Luther is your typical high school nerd who has a nerdy best friend, has a crush on the cute girl, and gets bullied by the jock. To learn to defend himself, Luther purchases a ridiculous book called The Hercules Method in order to get yolked and beat his bully's ass. If you can't tell by my nutshell recap, Luther's story is oddly reminiscent of Peter Parker's. Granted, instead of a spider bite, Luther got a Hercules book, but you get the picture. While the story is very basic, and extremely similar to Spidey's, it worked well. Though we don't actually see what pushes Luther to the scale of violence shown to us at the beginning of the issue, we do get a subplot throughout Luther's story of what appears to be a very evil, very sinister antagonist, which will undoubtedly serve as the catalyst to Luther's madness.
What really hit home with this issue however, was the artwork. I mean, really. What good is excessive, gratuitous violence if it isn't illustrated well? Artist Tradd Moore goes above and beyond the call of duty with his artwork in Luther's story, including more than enough gory details, and very well drawn expressions and body language from every character in the issue. The only complaint I can give about the artwork is that I don't have more of it in my hands right now. I found myself constantly going back and looking through this issue just to find interesting subtleties I didn't notice before, which is always a great thing in a comic.
As much as I loved this issue, I will remind you that this comic may not be for everybody. But as I also said, if you can stomach this kind of violence, you will most certainly be in for a treat. I may be saying my praises too early, but if Justin Jordan continues the comic at this pace, I could see it being one of the best mini-series to be released this year, and that's saying quite a bit.