Let’s get this out of the way. Delays in comics are never good or fun for the readers. But finding a creator that’s up front about a delay… I can’t remember if anyone other than the team behind The Legacy of Luther Strode have ever done such a thing in comics. Delays suck, but admitting there’s going to be one soften the blows and made the return of Legacy all the more desirable. This issue is good. It’s not great, but it’s good. The art will always elevate it past average, but the narrative drags here a bit. We learn Delilah’s backstory and it’s interesting, but not surprising. Petra and Delilah have a show down and it’s great to see Petra not back down. She’s up against these killers that can barely be killed by one another and yet she never flinches. She’s a hell of a character and puts so many other “strong” female characters to shame. That’s pretty much it for the story without spoilers of course.
The art continues to be amazing. The things that Tradd Moore experiments with on this issue are different. I don’t know if they all worked, but they were interesting and it shows his desire to grow the visuals of the story and of his style. There is a great page in which we see both Delilah and Petra’s side of the conversation, but it’s just flipped perfectly. It’s a little device, but it’s a great one that ultimately creates a page without gutters and the character’s themselves become the panel frames. The art just continues to be amazing. The coloring is also the biggest compliment to the artwork. Felipe Sobreiro knows exactly how to color for Moore’s pencil work and frankly makes it look really fucking good. Sobreiro is the architect to the look of the world with his coloring because that’s where a huge part of the style comes from.
The story isn’t bad. It’s just that it didn’t leave itself anywhere to go. We’ve been climbing so sharply since the beginning of the volume that it feels as if it’s plateaued after the second issue. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that it’s become typical of itself. The surprises aren’t as shocking because we’ve had so much source material up to this point that we kind of know what to expect for the most part. Still, an average day on Luther Strode is better than a great day for any other comic. I’m definitely not slamming the writing, but just saying that I’ve become too accustomed to it and that perhaps it needed to leave itself somewhere to go other than just getting to the end.
This series is nearly over and that’s bittersweet. I want to see it end, but then of course it means that we’re done with this world. Sure, there’s plenty of history tied into the story, but it won’t quite be the same if Luther and Petra aren’t at the center of it all. For now, let’s all just enjoy the return of what’s still a groundbreaking series.
The Legacy of Luther Strode #4 Writer: Justin Jordan Artist: Tradd Moore Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 1/20/16 Format: Mini-Series: Print/Digital