We have reached the penultimate issue of the time hoping, demon fighting, expat drug addict story and we’re in Los Angeles, 1947. The story took a step back last month, but how is issue #5? Is it good?

Lucas Stand #5 (BOOM! Studios)

So what’s it about? The BOOM! summary reads:

Lucas puts himself and Cyd in danger when he kills an agent of Hell he wasn’t assigned in 1947 Hollywood.

Why does this book matter?

It’s not every day you get a unique tale such as this, or such interesting people writing it like Kurt Sutter and Caitlin Kittredge. We spoke to Kittredge last month and she had quite a few interesting things to say about this series. It has been one of our favorites lately and part of the reason is how episodic each issue has been due to the time change. Time to see where Lucas ends up by the end of this one!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

A gruesome opening (with nudity cropped out!)

Spoiler alert, Lucas ends up in a pretty surprising place by the end of the issue! I’ll say no more to avoid reducing the surprises in this good issue. The writing team finally shows Lucas feeling a bit comfortable in his role doing more good and showing he’s the man for the job. Along the way an old friend pops up and it all leads to a crazy action that he won’t be able to take back. The creative team also makes the setting and time come alive with Lucas taking on a unique Hollywood job and the setting working well too.

The art by Jesús Hervás captures the time, place and costumes well. The color by Adam Metcalfe makes the explosives scenes quite electric, one in which involves birds flying through windows with an exquisite yellow pop. The visceral scene that follows reminds us this story is otherworldly in nature. The issue also opens with a wickedly disturbing crime scene (warning: nudity) with some rather gross blood all over the body. Hervás also does a good job whipping wind and blowing the roof off when necessary.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The art does get a bit muddy at times becoming almost indiscernible and too obtuse for its own good. It’s almost as if Hervás runs out of steam, because much of the early pages are fantastic from expressions to setting.

Storywise, there’s a bit of a deux ex machina that comes off as cheap to rush the plot to its conclusion. The event in question is also hard to understand with a lack of detail in backgrounds and a strange weapon.

I wonder if people actually did this.

Is It Good?

The penultimate issue delivers, with raised stakes and an enticing new wrinkle. The setting and story work well and it’s nice to see Lucas finally in control, but there’s a weak twist and muddy art that drags things down a bit.

Lucas Stand #5 Review
The setting is well rendered and interestingLucas finally looks comfortable in his own skinSome pretty boss action scenes
A bit of annoying deus ex machinaThe art gets difficult to follow with a muddy unfinished look near the end
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