Review - Lucas Stand: Inner Demons #1 (@boomstudios)

"I don't like demons, and I don't like liars."

Fighting demons is an ongoing endeavor. It takes stamina, grit and a resolve to keep on keeping on in the face of adversity. In Lucas Stand: Inner Demons #1 from BOOM! Studios, that quest continues. The issue is written by Kurt Sutter and Caitlin Kittredge, illustrated by Jesús Hervás, colored by Alex Guimarães and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Military vet Lucas Stand has been forced to hunt demons on the orders of his master Gadrel. Now he has finally managed to break free and strike out on his own. However, his actions have garnered him a formidable reputation and it's not just the demons who are after him this time…

While most of the issue is focused on Lucas Strand's quest to find Penemue, Sutter and Kittredge leave enough time to give the reader more insights into what makes Lucas Stand tick. Lucas is hellbent (wordplay?) on tracking Penemue down and the way he's written shows that he's willing to put himself through the ringer time and time again. The dialogue by Sutter and Kittredge is engaging and plays well into the conversations Lucas has with both his enemies and allies. The pacing of the issue feels good too, as about three-fourths of the way through the book there's an interesting character interaction that speeds things up considerably. Sutter and Kittredge could have easily made the series longer by slowing things down a bit, but it's a good thing that they didn't because the issue feels brisk in a good way.

Hervás has a handle on illustrating Stand as a grizzled man on a mission. The way Hervás shades Stand's face is particularly effective at conveying the toll that his mission has taken on him physically. The character in general are drawn with lines that aren't too thick or thin, striking the right balance in giving the characters enough of a presence on the pages. Just about every page is rife with insets and overlays that Hervás uses effectively to fit with the time-traveling narrative. The colors by Guimarães are grimy and dark throughout; the major exception is when the time traveling is involved in that Guimarães gives those actions a pop of neon pink.

Lucas Stand: Inner Demons #1 does a phenomenal job of taking Lucas Stand to a wide variety of locales throughout time and space, forcing him to adapt accordingly. Lucas Stand has a tremendous resolve that will likely end up getting him killed...eventually. The script by Sutter and Kittredge is fast-paced and engaging, providing insight into Lucas as a character while at the same time moving things forward. The artwork by Hervás is dark and provides an abundantly creepy tone throughout the issue. Lucas Stand: Inner Demons #1 is a great return to a familiar character who has no issues dealing with demons, both external and internal.

Lucas Stand: Inner Demons #1 is available now.