Kurt Sutter is the creative mind behind the hit TV show Sons of Anarchy. But that shouldn’t matter because this book stands on its own. Lucas Stand #1 is the first of six issue mini-series written by Sutter and Caitlin Kittredge, which follows a pill popping, whiskey swigging war vet as he struggles to escape self-destruction. I found myself relating to Lucas instantly. He’s a guy who came from a modest upbringing and has made some mistakes. He served in the Iraq war where he killed a bunch of people but also ended up permanently scarred, mentally and physically. It makes sense that he also has a sick temper which tends to get the best of him. Eventually Lucas decides to take his life but that doesn’t end his suffering. A mysterious man appears offering him a chance at redemption by joining a secret supernatural taskforce. I was pleasantly surprised by how the rest of the story unfolded. It’s definitely a fresh take on the “second chance at life” concept.
The character has a lot of the complicated elements that you’ll find in Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy, so it’s familiar ground for him. The dialogue is really well-written. It's gritty as hell and highlighted by the spit-fire voice of the main character. I appreciate that every page seems well thought out and paced with suspense ending on an exciting cliffhanger. I love the artwork in this book. It’s well detailed and has a hellish color scheme that keeps the mystery in every panel.
Overall I think Kurt Sutter has a hit on his hands. Often times the transition of a TV writer to comics doesn’t go over smoothly. But I’m glad that he’s maintained his strong voice and ear for dialogue that has fueled his other work. Lucas Stand has a lot of interesting turns that I think set it apart from many of the books currently out. I’m looking forward to seeing where the rest of this series goes.
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