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Advanced Review: The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #5

Writer: 
Justin Jordan
Art: 
Tradd Moore
Colors: 
Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: 
Fonografiks
Cover: 
Tradd Moore
Publisher: 
Image Comics
Price: 
$2.99
Release Date: 
February 1st, 2012

Body

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode has proved itself over and over again with every issue that it isn’t afraid to take risks. In this issue we see nothing but incredible risk taking and, dare I say it, beautiful violence. With goons holding his crush Petra hostage, Luther jumps into action in the fight scene we saw glimpses of in the first issue. But, back home, The Librarian terrorizes the most important people in Luther’s life with dire consequences.

This issue’s story was a slug-fest, but of the best caliber. The entire series has been leading up to the moment when Luther would finally snap and give in to the dark powers that he’s been developing. Instead of leaping right into the hero role or fighting evil, Luther has been slowly building toward what his approach to having great power is going to be. When he breaks loose from his morals and takes charge of the situation it feels authentic because readers have taken that same journey with him.

There’s also some wonderful subtle character development with Petra that I’ve been curious about since the first time she was introduced.  Luther was a kid who had to deal with parental abuse from his father while he was growing up. The development of his body and powers was helping him cope with that, but there were strange signs that Petra might have been going through a similar situation. A dark joke that Petra makes while being interrogated supplies the information subtlety and uses it to build character instead of turning it into an after school special. It’s wonderfully executed and was one of my favorite parts of the book.

The artwork in this issue by Moore was full of life. The carnage was the best you could hope for as Luther fought his way through a room full of low-lives and thugs. There were certain “I can’t believe that just happened” moments that happened to characters that struck with even more power from the execution used in the layouts and art choices. There are a couple of very juicy moments of action that I’d love to go into detail about, but I feel like I would be ruining the story. I can say that the cover for this issue was iconic and just as powerful as the story. I’ll throw my hat in the ring for suggesting that it be turned into a poster, not to mention all of the great pin-ups included with this issue.

To wrap this review up with a nice little bow on top of it, don’t make this an issue you just read the review about and then wait around for the trade to get your hands on it. Go and pick it up and experience it with everyone else who will be grabbing it off the shelves this coming Wednesday. It’s building up to a climax that will most likely shape the character and the direction of upcoming stories, and you don’t want to be the only person left out of the loop on this title.