If you read AiPT! you’ll know we love this series, from the perfect 10 reviews, to the interview with series co-writer. Heck, we even posted the preview for issue #4 exclusively, but that doesn’t mean the series is a guaranteed success! Is it good?
Lucas Stand #4 (BOOM! Studios)
So what’s it about? You can read the full preview, or check out the BOOM! summary reads:
Lucas searches for a demon during the Vietnam War and comes across the battlefield where his father died.
Why does this book matter?
If I had the choice, I’d turn this series into a TV show yesterday due to the original premise, pulse-pounding drama, and interesting fantasy elements. Each issue is jam-packed with content too and that makes every issue well worth its price tag.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The Vietnam setting of this issue is an exciting one, and it’s another example of the series throwing a new twist into the mix, and that also includes bringing in the protagonist’s father. This plot twist adds a new layer to the time traveling going on, but also adds to the stakes in play. This brings in the added benefit of flashbacks, which help flesh out the protagonist too.
Once again too, the demon adds an interesting element that plays on the idea of demons abusing humanity, but also living among us. The added twist of a human working with the demon certainly complicates things too.
The art by Jesús Hervás continues to be dream like – particularly in the flashbacks – and the demon looks hellishly good too. The colors by Adam Metcalfe aid in giving the jungle of Vietnam a chaotic feel and he uses a lot of bright colors during the day to make it all look like hell itself. Together they depict Lucas’ mother as a truly beautiful woman too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue doesn’t quite work pacing-wise and feels like it’s dragging its feet as we prepare for the big finale. The problem starts with the flow of the story which attempts to set up an opium trade subplot, but there’s not enough time to make it work. Instead, the reader doesn’t have enough buy-in, nor is there enough time to establish it well enough. The father/son stuff doesn’t quite land either, mostly because not much is made of it. Lucas has a word or two, but besides seeing who he was in Vietnam and who he thought he was, it doesn’t add anything to their relationship. This story element seems to be jockeying for attention with the demon – typically the focus of each issue – and ultimately both suffer because of it.
Solid flashback sequences.
Is It Good?
Lucas Stand #4 slows things down and juggles too much which makes for a muddied and unsatisfying issue. The father/son stuff works to make us understand Lucas a bit more, but the issue is biding its time to kick start the climax.