The Strange Talent of Luther Strode is by far one of the better Image books published this year. I wouldn’t say that it’s too die for, but it’s certainly caught my attention as a comic that stands out from other books due to its presentation and story. The first that catches your eye is the art. Hands down it is really good art and it will make you wonder why you don’t see more books look like this. The next thing about the art that will stand out is the ultra-violent opening, think Black Summer but toned down just a bit. It’s very graphic, but in a super detailed “only in comics” sort of way. The story begins in the future and then flashes back to the past. I’m not a fan of this which is why this book isn’t to die for. If you’re story begins in the “past” then just begin there. Don’t tease the story just to sell a cover. At any rate the real story begins with a book and a string bean version of Luther receiving “The Hercules Method” in the mail. They head to Luther’s house where his abused mother cautiously opens the front door and lets the boys in. There Luther practices the methods outlined in the book with little result. The next day Luther sees the results as his mother drops a plate of food and he catches it before it hits the ground.
At school Luther is picked on by the biggest jock in school, but is defended by Petra the “too cool for school” love interest. In gym, Luther and the Jock square off and the Jock ends up with a broken nose. Of course the battle doesn’t end there as the Jock catches up with Luther in the bathroom and ends up getting his jaw broken. It’s an interesting read and the presentation of Luther’s POV is definitely one of the coolest parts of the story. There’s also a looming evil that appears to be moving towards Luther that I didn’t really get into, but if you pick up the book you’ll get a feel for what I mean.
The first issue was very popular in shops which gave it a second print that I believe is coming out at the same time as the second issue. Frankly I really like the book, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. It has a strong narration; interesting characters and frankly it cool idea and awesome presentation. In a way this is a superhero book without a superhero, sure the glimpse into the future shows that the story settles on to the anti-hero path but for right now it’s this weird genre defying book that is really cool. If you can find a first print get it, but even if you can only wrestle up a second print I would take it just to read this book.
Writer: Justin Jordan Artist: Tradd Moore Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99