Time travelling demon hunter/suicidal expat who wants revenge for his dog’s cruel murder. I mean…nuff said right? Is it good?
Lucas Stand #2 (BOOM! Studios)
So what’s it about? The official BOOM! synopsis reads:
Lucas is sent back to 1943 Occupied France to kill a demon, but must avoid altering history in the process.
Why does this book matter?
Writers Kurt Sutter and Caitlin Kittredge blew me away with the last issue as it established the world, the character, and the premise so strongly I wanted more right away. You can tell Sutter’s experience writing Sons of Anarchy helped in crafting a well paced and strong story.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
“Jesus, what was in that bagel?”
Just when I thought this series couldn’t possibly bring in more surprises it does! This issue opens where we left off as Lucas is being asked to take on a mission he didn’t necessarily sign on for. Oh, and he’s being asked by a flaming demon in Nazi Germany. Kittredge and Sutter effectively lay down the rules of demon hunting quite succinctly, and away the plot goes. The writers have Lucas escape a Nazi prison, kill a demon, make it back to 2016 and get whisked off to another time and place too. A lot happens in this issue and this is the type of comic book reading where you question why so many comic books for the same exact price tell a quarter of the story this one is telling.
Lucas continues to be developed well too. Clearly the man has skeletons in his closet, which is probably why demons are using him in the first place. But Kittredge and Sutter do a good job making us aware he’s good at heart. They also pull an interesting twist with the female character who clued him in on the demon killing business from the last issue. In an attempt to save her we see they might have been falling for each other, which adds to the tragedy of the story. On top of that his time hopping further complicates their relationship, but I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers!
The art by Jesús Hervás continues to impress. This issue isn’t quite as dense with dialogue as the last issue, but a nice mix of varying layouts continues to be one of his strengths. One page that pits Lucas versus the demon is jaw droppingly good and Hervás does a good job making it seem ethereal and otherworldly. The time hopping has a unique flair to it too which makes this feel a bit separate from the other time travelling shows and comics. Most importantly Lucas has a strong look, but at the same time you can see his weakness (for drugs and self hatred) which is important for a character like this.
It can’t be perfect can it?
My only gripe are the rules of killing a demon. They’re laid out quickly and succinctly–albeit in a bit too forced way for the reader’s sake–but I almost felt like I needed a chart after they were laid out. How can Lucas kill a demon again? I’m a bit unclear, but Lucas seems so sure of how it works! They’re going to need to remind us of these rules again as they seem more complicated than they need to be.
Is It Good?
Save for a minor gripe this is another solid issue. By far the best original series of 2016 and one you should not pass up.