Review Brew: Lucas Stand #1
Written By: Kurt Sutter & Caitlin Kittredge
Art By: Jesus Hervas
Color Art By: Adam Metcalfe
Comics, in recent years, have been in a weird and unique place creatively. While there has certainly been a renaissance in terms of art and new storytelling directions, we’ve also seen an influx of creator’s from other mediums looking to put out some of their own comic work. This week sees another one of those, as Kurt Sutter, known for his work on Sons of Anarchy, marks a debut issue for a new comic series from Boom.
Whenever there’s a comic written by someone who isn’t primarily a comic writer (I’ll hear an argument for BKV, he started in comics though), I’m a little skeptical. Not in that they can’t tell a story, they obviously can, but comics is a whole monster in itself. Like at Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black Panther. He admittedly stated that he took the first arc of the series just to work out the kinks of comic book writing. With that in mind, I struggled with this issue a lot in the plot and script. We are introduced to Lucas Stand, a pretty severely depressed former soldier, who, by the end, is in a battle against some demons. The really big problems come in the storytelling. It seems we spent forever just moping in his world, and watching Lucas be a pretty sad person (whether justified or not). We follow that into a whirlwind trip back in time, and the book gets suddenly very supernatural. The thread of the story got lost here, and as the pages got more and more text heavy, the reason became pretty clear. The book is just really overwritten. When you look at the bare bones story, it would make a great tv show or movie, but it just doesn’t translate to comics. And I’m not sure how Sutter and Kittredge split up the work here, I don’t want to assume one voice was clearly hurting or redeeming the book. That said, it’s not offensive or anything of that sort by any means. The travel back to WW2 sucked me in, and between that and the supernatural twist, it has a little bit of something for everyone. Also, as I briefly stated before, the story appeared to come from one mind, so these two work well together.
I’ve been trying to come up with a way to describe the art here from Hervas and Metcalfe. I always use comparisons, so bare with me, but it’s a little bit of a mix of Rafael Albuquerque and Riley Rossmo. Not as refined in storytelling of those two, but it certainly comes from the same school. Even though I didn’t love the story, I found myself enjoying the art from page to page for the most part. I could always tell the story through the art, and the sometimes painter like colors were a nice touch with the rendering. There were a few cases where the panel appeared to be hazy, which was by design because it was a dream or a hallucination, but it became distracting. For me, I tend to side toward the more simple, clearer rendering and panel layout, so it could very well be preference. The craft is definitely there, and there’s no doubt that Hervas can be a top level talent in the future.
Even with some high points, Lucas Stand had a fairly decent amount that needed trimming or addressing. It’s not fair to place blame anywhere, as history would show that, given some more time to work out the kinks, these aspects will be remedied.
2.5 Landlords out of 5