Another Image book that garnered a lot of buzz is The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode.

Luther Strode is just your average geek until he sends for an exercise course from the back of an old comic book. What he gets is the instruction manual from a murder cult as old as mankind that does everything that it promised and more.

  • Story by: Justin Jordan
  • Art By: Tradd Moore
  • Image Comics
  • Paperback 144 pages
  • 10.1 x 6.5″
  • Price: $14.99
  • On Sale: April 11, 2012
  • Order online: Amazon, Book Depository

 

If I had to sum up my experience with this book it would be bloody. As illustrated on our lead’s hands and forearms in the cover and alluded to by the background colour there is an overwhelming amount of blood, death and dismemberment throughout. It’s not entirely necessary and reminded me a lot of Kill Bill, where the excess was there to make a point about excess.

The story is well crafted violence. A skinny kids who gets picked on a lot and lives in fear of his violent father orders a book online in the vein of Charles Atlas and after working through the exercises awakens some unique talents for body control and violence. A nerdy sidekick, overtly sexual girlfriend and fearful mom round out the cast. This is in essence a story of what the average teenager would do if given extraordinary abilities or “super powers”.

Jordan does a great job of putting us into our lead’s mindset and the dialogue works perfectly. This is a “volume 1” and it shows: we get an origin story with a lot of unanswered questions that point to future tales. It’s unfortunate so much of this volume is a fight between Strode and The Librarian; things were moving well and developing until what seems like half the book becomes the final boss fight of a video game.

Moore’s art is linear and reminds me of Kevin O’Neill, just a little softer; lots of hashing. It’s solid and delivers visually. Felipe Sobreiro does an amazing job colouring the tale and conveying mood and atmosphere.

Not a lot of extras: a few pin ups. The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode, like a lot of comics these days, has a strong cinematic feel, up to and including the “after credits” scene. For me it’s a bit too bloody and violent but I’m in the minority.