It has been over two months since issue #1 blew our minds with some fantastic action and art, and if you’re like me you can’t wait. Where else can you see some Superman-level strength being delivered on equally strong characters utilizing fluid kinetic art to convey just how powerful these beings are?
Legacy of Luther Strode #2 (Image Comics)
This is one of those issues where characters lumber around, get their bearings and redirect the plot towards a different direction. Often these types of issues can be a bore and drag on, or in other cases at least feel unnecessary. How often do you finish reading a comic these days and think, “I could have skipped this because barely anything changed.” There’s a bit of that going on in this issue, but it’s still got some fantastic moments.
The issue opens with our protagonists entering Russia to locate Cain. Once they find a road made of skulls they know they’re on the right track and soon a battle takes place. Seriously, that’s about all you need to know to know how this comic plays out. Petra continues to be an animated and fun side character who loves her guns and loves to dish attitude.
Hmm, what are those?
Justin Jordan writes a pretty mean issue as far as risk taking goes. I say this because half the issue has a character speak only Russian. This is a nice choice though as it sticks the reader in the same position as the protagonists who don’t know Russian either. It takes what feels like a very long time to reach the action sequence (11 pages or so counting the cover), and there just isn’t enough in those pages to make it worth it. Paced a different way the characters could have said or done something of more merit, but instead it feels a bit boring to be following them as they lumber along to find their man. When they do it’s a glorious 11 pages of blood, awesome impossible punches and well planned layouts. The basic problem is my impatience I suppose, but when you’re screaming, “get to the fight” for 11 pages you know there is something missing.
The art by Tradd Moore is without a doubt the saving grace for this issue. I’d love to see the script and find out if from page 11 on it simply said, “have fun” because boy does he—and subsequently the reader—have a ton of it. The fight is fantastic with great splashes of color to signify epic moments. I also love how this guy draws fluid. The blood has a kind of thickness to it that make it gross but also more visceral. It’s like we’re really seeing blood pour out of the characters. He also has a doozy of a panel with a character vomiting that’s…pretty gross, but also weird. It looks odd, but that’s his style so it’s still awesome.
There’s also a backup in this issue written by Tradd Moore that’s rather solid in its characterization. The scene is a flashback of sorts, as we see the childhood of two orphans taken in. They live in what looks like midwestern America as a blonde haired boy hangs out with a Vietnamese girl. They bond over their backstories and the story is actually very well plotted. We see these innocent young kids who have something in common, and that’s death and dismemberment. This story is aided in top notch art from Stephen Green which is very illustrative and detailed. The panels are well laid out with a very nice eye for storytelling as the scene is slowly revealed.
Is It Good?
Basically put this issue is all about a fight sequence that takes up half of its pages. It’s hard fought and hard felt and a fantastic scene, but not quite enough to make this a perfect issue by any means. The backup however is very well told and looks fantastic.