Any good piece of literature should do 3 things. One, it should grab your interest and hold onto it until the very last punctuation mark. Two, it should make you feel a range of very different and extreme emotions. And third, it must make you think. With the third issue in Aguirre-Sacassa’s “THE STAND: SOUL SURVIVORS” we are treated to such an experience. Read on for the review. In general the story revolves around the love triangle that consists of Fran, Harry, and Stu. Harry is the awkward everyman who has a borderline psychotic crush on Fran, whilst all the while Fran is carrying a torch for Stu. Still with me? I promise this isn’t ‘The Hills’ meets King, bear with me.
The story itself is probably the strongest of the 3 issues in the arc so far. The dramatic sequences are done just right, with Aguirre-Sacassa’s talents for writing the human emotion shinning through yet again. The moments of tenderness between Stu and Fran are excellently paralled by the tenseness of the moments when Harry is on page. If ever “THE STAND” made a triumph in character writing it is within this issue. Even the smallest touch such as Fran’s reminiscing over small everyday luxuries such as Converse and Kool-Aid are almost touching. The tenderness of the issue culminates when Fran and Stu sleep together and Fran confesses that she is pregnant. From then on the story hits a new high of dread as Harry has seen the two together, and in doing so lost every semblance of his sanity.
This all sounds very romantic, but as is the case with any King story, the horror reigns. During one sequence the group encounters a blockade in the road, where a group of bikers have been keeping women hostage for sex slaves, killing any men in their way. The encounter ends in a grisly fashion, allowing for Perkins to show off his talents. This issue also contains the most horrific of scenes for the series thus far for me, as we are shown a road that is lined with electrical poles with people crucified to them. This is heavy stuff people.
In all ‘THE STAND: SOUL SURVIVORS’ #3 is brilliant. The cliffhanger ending left me wishing for the next issue. This is a definite must read for fans of the series.
4.5 out of 5 Skulls