Writer Justin Jordan and artist Trad Moore are back at it again with The Legend of Luther Strode #1, set five years after the events of “The Strange Talent of Luther Strode” and the extreme violence of the duo’s first mini-series continues to reign supreme. If copious amounts of lovingly drawn and incredibly detailed blood, guts, and gore aren’t your thing, then “The Legend of Luther Strode” probably isn’t for you. But if it is, then this issue is a veritable cornucopia of grisly delights.
WRITTEN BY: Justin Jordan
ART BY: Trad Moore
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: December 5, 2012
Fans of the original mini-series can expect something a bit different, with the story jumping ahead five years in time and taking a distinctive approach from the “The Strange Talent of Luther Strode”. Whereas Luther’s first foray into vigilantism followed the familiar Spider-Man-esque trope of a beta male high school student gaining powers far beyond the scope of normal human abilities, “The Legend of Luther Strode” adopts a tone more suited to a Dark Knight type atmosphere, with Luther largely hidden in shadow, looming over a cadre of mostly generic thugs and crime lords as a menacing Boogeyman.
The plot slowly simmers into something delightfully twisted and a surprise reveal of a character from the first arc will surely leave fans salivating though the issue isn’t without its flaws. With one notable exception, it is worth mentioning that the only women we see in “The Legend of Luther Strode” are nameless, faceless prostitutes – disposable both to the characters and, seemingly, the creators behind them. In a work that relies on violence as a form of subversion, it would be potentially more interesting to see a more complex take on gender within that subversion, because what we’re left with is pretty standard issue.
Moore’s art is as kinetic as ever and the joy he takes in eviscerating repellant goons is infectious. Despite a few curious stylistic ticks, like strangely pinched faces and occasionally too-small hands, the artwork retains the brilliance of their original run and the Technicolor blood and guts is worth the price of admission on its own merit.
With more characters rolling out in upcoming issues, it’ll be interesting to find out what exactly transpired in the previous five years to so drastically change the landscape of the Luther Strode universe. All in all, it’s a solid first issue and the choice to leap forward, temporally, in the saga of Luther Strode is a wise one, as it opens up a whole wondrous world of delightfully violent possibilities.
Reviewed by – MelissaGrey