Lucas Stand returns to form with a stronger issue this time around. I can’t say that all of my quibbles with this book have been completely resolved, and there are still some stylistic elements that continue to bug me. That being said, this was a more fun issue than the previous one. Fighting demons in the Wild West is solid ground thematically, and where Lucas ends up going next also makes for good reading. If this series would just get on a consistent tone thematically, it might be in good shape.
Lucas’ jump into the Wild West isn’t exactly an easy one, as he’s almost hanged for somebody else’s crimes. The bounty hunter, Dedham, reveals that he too knows a little about Lucas’ plight, or at least that there’s a supernatural element to what’s happening in Deadwood. The two begin working through the town, finally tracking down the latest corruption. When it’s all done, Lucas only has a day or two to rest before he’s sent after another target, and he winds up in a time and place with somebody very familiar…
Is it jumping out at anybody else that Lucas is far more progressive than you would expect him to be? I happen to agree with his views on cowboys, and while I love western films, they do basically glorify ethnic cleansing and whitewash the fact that many of them were just thugs on horses. That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily expect this guy to look at it that way. He has a lot of insight into the world, which sort of makes him the perfect drug addict. He’s wise enough to know everything that’s wrong with him, but not willing to make the necessary changes.
On the other hand, the series is still trying to find its footing in how to deal with the moral ambiguity of working for hell. That’s a bad thing, because we’re halfway through the series now. I complained a fair bit in the last issue because Lucas’ actions in Nazi-occupied France are totally absolved by one of the victims. It isn’t quite as bad here; when Lucas leaves Deadwood, the people who the demon had been siphoning off of are basically left to wither away. Ok, those are consequences. But the demon’s speech about just wanting to be left alone and allowed to do good are totally undermined by the immediate revelation that the demon actually is evil.
This issue is also helped out a lot by Dedham, who gets along almost too well with Lucas. I say “too well” because their association can only last for this go around, and it’s a shame to lose interesting repartee. Oh well. I’ve no doubt that the next issue should produce some interesting material, even if I can sense where the twist is going to come in.
[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
Lucas Stand #3 Writer: Kurt Sutter, Caitlin Kitteredge Artist: Jesus Hervas Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital