The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Tradd Moore
The first few pages of a book usually tell the reader a lot about how things are going to be for the entire series. If that’s the case with this book, well, we’re in for a bloody ride. The first few panels of this book show us a jacked up dude with a mask absolutely ripping some people to shreds. Now, not people that look like they just robbed a bank or killed somebody, but everyday looking Joes. Now, why he’s done this nobody knows yet. We next see two geeks at school complaining about getting beat-downs from the bullies. One geek, Luther Strode, is trying to use a book (a la Charles Atlas) to get into shape and give the bullies a whooping. He and his friend Pete talk about all the normal things, like girls and beating the bullies that they hate, but Luther’s mom is acting kind of strange. The impression I get is that she and her son are on the run from someone. Maybe an abusive spouse/father, or maybe something else. There is also a quick interlude of some crazy steroid pumped up dude killing a sparring opponent. He then is approached by a dude he calls “Librarian,” and this person tells him that he has found a “candidate with great potential.” Over the next few weeks, Luther seems to be getting into better shape. One morning, he actually seems to perform some amazing feats of agility that amaze his mother and himself. This is just a small example of what he’ll do by the end of this issue, however.
OK, on to my thoughts on this one. First and foremost, I loved the artwork. It really is a great example of an artist knowing his characters and environments. The school scenes are perfect. From the dodgeball scene in the gym to the candid conversations between Luther and Pete, everything was in place as it should be in a book that is well thought out. Now, the story was alright, but it isn’t something unheard of. I mean, geek gets bullied, then something happens to give him an edge, and he whips the bullies. I couldn’t help but think of Spider-Man throughout the whole story, to be honest. There were a couple of funny homages in the book. For instance, the high school is named “Voorhees High” (Friday the 13th), and when Luther and Pete go to Luther’s house, Pete does the Vulcan “Live long & prosper” sign to Luther’s mother. Those were the moments that were funny and enjoyable. This is definitely a mature read, though. Lots of bloody scenes with dismemberment, tons of foul language, and some sexual innuendo, as well. Again, great artwork, but an old story that seems to have a new twist. Rating 2.5/5