This week I want to talk about a book that is near and dear to me. I am going to talk about the excellent Image book, The Legacy of Luther Strode #1 written by Justin Jordan with art by Tradd Moore.
This is the beginning of the end for Luther Strode, the boy who grew into massive power. For those of you not familiar with the Luther Strode series this is a bad place to start. This is issue one of Volume 3. Go back and read the other two volumes first. Also here is a quick rundown, and no this will not be intensive as I want to try not to spoil anything for readers who have not yet experienced the awesomeness of the prior volumes.
So Luther Strode is your typically nerdy kid who wants to bulk up… so he gets the equivalent of the old Tony Atlas kits from comic book ads of old. Only this one gives him super powers. It increases his size, strength, durability and over all killing potential making him, for all intents and purposes, a god. He sees the world differently, literally seeing muscle and bone instead of skin. There is, as always, death, destruction and mayhem, decisions to be made and villains to strike down, such as The Librarian and The Ripper.
This issue starts with Luther Strode in the back of a cop van after his fight with the last villain. His partner and lover, Petra Dobrev, in the back of a cop car tailing the van both clearly under arrest. Of course Luther breaks free and they disappear, for 5 years, where our story picks up. In this issue we get a refresher course on Luther as he and Petra wipe out 2 other students of the method (the Hercules Method that gave Luther his powers). It isn’t until the last page that we have any sense of where the series is heading as we see a women in a white suit saying “Now let’s see if you can do better.” I assume that we will learn more about her and the wider world in the following issues.
There was not much set up for the rest of the series in this issue, which is fine with me. I was happy to see Luther Strode back and just wailing on people. It was nice to be reminded of what he and Petra can do and how they help each other. There are also a few pages at the beginning of the book, which I won’t share because spoilers, which really answered a few questions and could, have possibly shed some light on one of the ultimate bad guys in the series.
I really love that we don’t yet know the full and complete origin of the Hercules Method, or who is in charge of people like the Librarian and the Ripper. This being the last series I assume we will find out all of these things. But I also really think it would be great if we didn’t. I enjoy not knowing everything about this world, to me, it makes the story seem more real and relatable. We only know what Luther knows and even less than him in a lot of cases.
The art for this book is magical. It’s the right amount of cartoon and gore. Seeing how Tradd Moore plays with the background to illustrate these crazy powers is just awesome. I love the ripples and flexibility in things that should not ripple or flex… like concrete. Also the way he draws the deaths of these characters really helps to illustrate just how deadly Luther and his kind are, which helps illustrate some of the choices Luther makes. I also have to add that the coloring by Felipe Sobreiro is amazing, especially in the opening sequence. The art and the color and the writing are all around amazing and work completely in sync with each other.
This book is easily 5 out of 5. It’s one of my favorite books and honestly is one of the reasons I started to explore Image as a company.