Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.
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Six issues down and Boom! Studios demon hunting/time travelling adventure, Lucas Stand, comes to an exciting conclusion. After the ups and downs of previous issues our reviewer, Darryll Robson, takes a look at the series finale.
Lucas Stand #6 Review
Kurt Sutter and Caitlin Kittredge‘s Lucas Stand started on a high that it had difficulty reaching in the following issues. The central character hopped through time like a drug addled Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap and the narrative often fell too easily into time travelling cliches. However Lucas has arrived in the future and the comic has the opportunity to dig into his psyche in ways not possible previously.
Lucas wakes for a brief moment in a hospital bed, shocked by his sudden arrival in the future. But this moment is fleeting as he once more succumbs to darkness only to travel further into the future.
The future he arrives in is a medieval, hunter/gatherer world inhabited by tribal warriors and healers. The world he knew has been gone for longer than anyone can remember and to Lucas it appears to be a Utopian life. He is free from pain, free from the longing for drugs and alcohol, free from the demons that have ruled his life in recent years. Lucas has found a place to settle down and call home.
Add to this the ravishing Emily and Lucas is set up for life.
Of course this bliss cannot last and it’s not too long before Cyd turns up to rain on Lucas’ parade. She sows seeds of doubt into Lucas about the world around him. She pokes her fingers into the small holes that Lucas has been ignoring, making him focus on these inconsistencies. Above all Cyd is honest with the wary time traveller and all she asks is that he take a long hard look at himself.
The revelations shatter his world and lead him to a final confrontation with his demons, of sorts.
The final issue of Lucas Stand could easily be titled The Last Temptation of Lucas Stand. In it the anit-hero is given everything he wants and he has to do nothing to earn it except accept it. It is obvious that something is going to come along and ruin the whole thing but what makes this work is the way in which the story unfolds. It’s a classic redemption story but awash with twists and sacrifices from unexpected places. The narrative never lets up and leads you brilliantly through Lucas’ last stand.
Except it’s not the last stand at all; there is a twist. This miniseries tells Lucas’ origin story and ends with the title character final where he should be, doing what he should be doing. This may not seem like a twist ending but the way the series has been unfolding has led the reader to believe this would end when Lucas got to beat the devil and return home. But no! This is about Lucas’ path from zero to avenging hero; sort of.
The future world is a touch obvious, maybe, but it does highlight Sutter and Kittredge’s abilities to write fantasy adventure as well as urban action. There is the feel of Conan to this part of the narrative which Jesus Hervas picks up on with his art. The snow scenes with Lucas draped in animal skin are reminiscent of Kurt Busiek’s run on Conan for Dark Horse Comics, especially with the tones and the bleak landscapes. It’s a very captivating moment in a series that has allowed the reader to wander during some issues.
Even when the usual cast from previous issues start to turn up, the setup is so solid that any flaws thereafter are easily carried. The ‘oh he’s in hell’ moment is not obvious or jarring or intrusive to the main pace of the narrative. Just like issue one, the story beats are well timed with pulsing motion.
Hervas’ art captures the grandiose tone of the story telling with imposing characters bearing down on others and bleak yet encompassing landscapes. It also contains some strong emotional work that hasn’t been noticeably present in previous issues. I finally understand the emotional connection between Lucas and Cyd. It is a love that explains her sacrifice; although the death of a loved one to fuel a life of justified vengeance is a trope that has become too prevalent in modern comic books. However, in this instance Cyd is completely in control of her own action and she is not a victim of some 2 dimensional nemesis.
As a whole Lucas Stand has suffered from either being too long (it should have just got to the point of Lucas’ life journey) or not long enough (it should have explored those relationships and the potential for of the time travelling characters). However, at the times when the writing and art married together it has been a wonderful read with some intriguing new takes on old sci-fi/demon hunting ideas. This final issue is a pacey read and a satisfying conclusion.
Have you been reading Lucas Stand? What are your thoughts of the series as a whole? Let us know in the comments below.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse.
Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
Source: Boom Studios
After a few shaky issues, Lucas Stand ends on a high. An exciting story with a few twists that is more than a satisfying conclusion to the series.