Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Kurt Sutter & Caitlin Kittredge
Artist: Jesús Hervás
Release Date: 22nd June, 2016
Lucas Stand is the type of title that doesn’t give me a whole lot of expectation as far as story. Going in completely blind, I had no idea what kind of story I was getting into. The first name that caught my eye was Kurt Sutter, which is a name that worried me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some Sons of Anarchy (which Sutter created) and thought it was pretty entertaining for what it was, but Sutter’s last piece of work was the script for the Antoine Fuqua boxing film Southpaw, which I was not a fan of. But sometimes these fears or lowered expectations can work in the story’s favor, using that element of surprise to give me something solid. Is that how it panned out here? First thing’s first, let’s get into the story of Lucas Stand issue #1.
Lucas Stand is a war vet security guard who moonlights as a fucking asshole. Right off the bat, this dude is a douche bag. He’s very angry and cynical, treating the world and it’s inhabitants like garbage. One night, Lucas goes out drinking, snorts some opiates then goes for a drive. During this drive, Lucas drives a van off of the road, killing the family inside—young children and parents—before driving off into the night. Back at his apartment, Lucas sees the news of the dead family on TV and decides to kill himself. But when he puts that gun in his mouth, things only get stranger and stranger for Lucas.
A good anti-hero can make for a fun story, because we see so much heroics and posing in comics, movies and TV today. Seeing a guy whose a total dick but is fighting for a good cause is potentially fun, but we’ve seen it fail so many times. Thankfully Sutter and co-writer Caitlin Kittredge give us a complete scumbag that is shockingly fun to watch. His cynicism and lack of heroics teamed with the smart dialogue presented to the character gives us a protagonist worth diving into. If nothing else, I’d read a second issue of this just to see more of this character, which is shocking for a character that kills an entire family in the opening pages of the book.
Thankfully I don’t want to read a second issue only for the character, the story that Sutter and Kittredge unravel in this first issue is something so weird and compelling, I couldn’t quite find the right comparisons. In the synopsis above, I really wanted to refrain from revealing the main chunk of the story because it’s just so surprising. The key word to use with this book is “surprising” because right when I thought I knew what was going on, it would throw me a curveball of “what the fuck!?”-ness.
I had to write a very similar review recently, where it’s a book that I want to gush about but I’m also trying to be as vague as possible. I usually really like to go into big detail when reviewing something, but this is one of those cases where I’ve told you everything you need to know before jumping in. The writing is sharp, the story is compelling with the perfect amount of edge and the character is one of the better comic anti-heroes to come along in quite some time. This is a book that unravels in the perfect way I love a story to, with reveal after reveal being even more intriguing than the last. This may not exactly be the best book out there right now, but I’d say that you should go out of your way to check this one out. This was a total blast to read and I can’t wait for what surprises are in store for next month’s issue.
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The writer of this piece was: Mike Annerino
Mike Tweets from @MikeAnnerino