"Lucas Stand" #1 from BOOM! Studios -
Lucas Stand is a junkie, and a loser, who can't keep a job, and who's got no hope for the future. But it wasn't always that way. Lucas was once a member of one of the most elite war-fighting forces of the American military, until a Taliban fighter put hot lead in his spine. It is an injury that not only ended his career, and took away the only thing that he was good at, but it left him in a state of constant, debilitating, mind-bending pain. It all started with pain management, and progressed to full blown addiction, and ended with his inadvertently causing the death of innocent people. When Lucas finally decides to eat a bullet, he thinks his troubles are over...But they have only just begun. An unearthly force has need of Lucas' skill set, and after resurrecting him, it offers him one final chance at redemption. Lucas reluctantly agrees, only to find himself thrown into Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Whatever force has resurrected Lucas has the power to send him anywhere in time to deal with any problem it needs taken care of. Lucas Stand has signed on to fight battles he doesn't understand, against a demonic power he doesn't comprehend, backed by a force that he absolutely doesn't trust. All he can do is what he knows best: fight tooth and nail to survive.
Kurt Sutter, creator of Sons of Anarchy, bursts onto the comic scene with his first original creation specifically written for comics, "Lucas Stand." The story, written by Sutter and Caitlin Kittredge, is absolutely mesmerizing. They expertly suck us into Stand's life, giving us a wonderful glimpse into the mind and heart of Lucas Stand through the adept use of inner monologues in the caption boxes. By the second page, I was totally captivated by Stand - I knew that I had to watch this guy's train wreck of a life unfold, and I had nothing but hope for him that it would somehow get better. I was emotionally invested - I guess I can relate to Lucas. The story itself had some familiar elements - the suicide, the dark deal and such - but I DID NOT see that time-travel angle coming. I was pleasantly surprised. Take a little Spawn, and a little Quantum Leap, shake thoroughly, add a splash of The Punisher and you've got "Lucas Stand," a fun, really interesting supernatural thriller with a great antihero for a protagonist. Jesús Hervás' art is just right in this book - straightforward, no frills, but more than competent, with wonderfully cinematic panels. This comic looks and reads like it's meant to make the leap to film or TV. Kurt Sutter has hit a homer with "Lucas Stand" #1, and I am chomping at the bit to see where this story is going.
RATING: 9 out of 10.
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