Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review - The Legacy of Luther Strode #1


"This already sucks. How much worse could it...?"

Luther Strode is an interesting fella. He was just your average geek - until he sent for an exercise course from the back of an old comic book. He ended up with an instruction manual from a murder cult as old as mankind that did everything that it promised - and more. Now Image Comics is wrapping up his saga in The Legacy of Luther Strode #1. The issue is written by Justin Jordan, illustrated by Tradd Moore, colored by Felipe Sobreiro and lettered by Fonografiks.

Luther Strode returns. For five years, Luther Strode and Petra have been on the run. Now the time for running is over and the Murder Cult is going down. The road to Cain starts here. Luther Strode plans to waste no time in getting down to business of fighting for his life and preserving the safety in the future.

Luther Strode helped catapult both Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore to comic superstardom, so it's only fitting that they return to the character for one last go-round. And Jordan pitches Luther Strode as an extremely happy individual at the outset, content with his place in life living far away from society alongside Petra. Of course, this is the last run with the character, so it should be obvious that any happy ending will have to be earned. Jordan's pacing of the story starts slow before reaching a breakneck speed, culminating a very climatic car chase/freeway brawl pitting Luther Strode against an opponent more than capable of making the fight brutal. The sheer frenzy of their fight is perfectly choreographed by Jordan, who's proven a propensity for crafting intricate chase scenes in other works as well (Dead Body Road comes to mind).

Keeping up with Jordan's script energy is Moore's equally as hurried illustrations. Moore's work offers characters defined by bold, clean lines that clearly define the contrasting physiques on display in The Legacy of Luther Strode #1. What's more is Moore's ability to follow the action perfectly, capturing every punch thrown and car flipped in each panel, many of which are crammed onto the pages. Those pages boast an assortment of panel layouts that keep the reader on their toes as well, with Moore eschewing traditional layouts for all sorts of unique presentations. The best work comes in the form of displaying the kinetics of the fights in a way that shows a natural progression in terms of where the fight takes them. And Sobreiro's colors are a great mix of bright and dark colors that achieve an effect that gives the book an anime feel to it.

The Legacy of Luther Strode #1 is an all-out assault of a first issue that cares little for taking things slow. The creators have an end-game in mind and they're essentially going to break through every obstacle in their way to achieve it. Jordan's got a grip on the character and knows what makes him tick, showing a willingness to disrupt his world in order to make him earn his happiness. Moore's illustrations are a perfect fit for the story, capturing the spirit of the combat flawlessly. The Legacy of Luther Strode #1 will appeal to fans of the series looking for closure, as well as fans looking for an action-packed story that's boasts a touch of old-fashioned romance.

The Legacy of Luther Strode #1 is in stores now.

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