Graphic Novel Review: The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode

Writer: Justin Jordan

Artist: Tradd Moore

Publisher: Image Comics

Website: www.imagecomics.com

By Nolan Patrick Smith

(Victor Valley)–I usually wait until a series is collected into a trade paperback before I do a review, but with this book I just couldn’t wait. The trade paperback hits stores April 11th, so I will be reviewing the story based off of the six issues, and not any of the extras included in the trade version. So what is so special about The Strange Talent of Luther Strode that I couldn’t wait a few weeks for the trade? Everything.

Story: Luther Strode is no hero; he’s a scrawny wimp in high school, not a real hit with the ladies, and an easy target for the everyday bully. That all changes when he comes across an ad for the Hercules Method (think the old Charles Atlas ads found in the old school comic books) and sends away for the life changing book. The program does more than bulk up the young Luther; it turns him into something far beyond the average man. He gains various talents that would have any high school geek thinking he can become a superhero, but life isn’t always that simple.

Justin Jordan crafts a tale that embodies a super hero book: you have a young hero who gains powers and tries to make a mark on the world, a villain that is tougher than concrete, and more blood than you can shake a horror film at. Let me address the blood once more: this book is unbelievably bloody, in all my years of reading comic books, I have never seen a book as violent as this. Now, if you don’t mind it, like me, then you are in for a real treat. The series has surprises at every turn, and by the end of the series, I felt very satisfied with the ending.

Art: Tradd Moore provides the artwork for the series, and his art compliments the kinetic feel and pace of the book. The designs are well done, from Luther’s mask that he dons in his hopes of being a hero, to the villain, The Librarian, who’s look just screams intimidation. The gore factor is brought to life wonderfully; fans of the Mortal Kombat video game series would marvel at some of the scenes and splash pages seen in Luther Strode.

Overall: The book looks like the story we have seen done again and again in comics: geek gains powers, gains confidence and becomes a superhero. This isn’t that story. This is a very different take on the genre, and by the end of the series you will realize why this is so much different than any other book on the market. Image Comics has once again released a modern day classic, leaving fans clamoring for more of a man named Luther Strode.  Highly Recommended, I give The Strange Talent of Luther Strode a perfect ***** out of 5.

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