Published on June 24th, 2015 | by Noel Thorne0
The Legacy Of Luther Strode #2 Review
Luther Strode is a series best known for the magnificent art of Tradd Moore but writer Justin Jordan gets all arty with his writing in this issue as Luther, Petra and Delilah touch down in snowy Russia to meet… The Gardener!
What do I mean? Half the issue is written in UNTRANSLATED RUSSIAN! A big chunk of the story is taken up with Russian dialogue between the Gardener and Delilah but there are no footnotes or anything so those of us without that language in our skill set – in this English language publication – are left completely in the dark.
But, as Jordan explains in his afterword, it’s done this way because this is Luther and Petra’s story and neither speak Russian. The idea is to keep the reader in their viewpoint the whole time and keeping the audience in the dark, along with the main characters, as to what all that mysterious Russian means, is the aim. A ballsy choice and one that’ll probably alienate some readers but tres arty nonetheless.
No translation is needed when it comes to the art however and Moore’s (strange) talent once more steals the show. The path to the Gardener’s lair is a creepy surprise, in a dark Wizard of Oz way, and things get EPIC once he and Luther throw hands with the flat-out impressive action. It’s almost as good as the stuff Akira Toriyama drew for Dragon Ball, and those comics were masterpieces.
If there’s a failing so far, it’s with the lack of a developed story. What is The Legacy of Luther Strode about? … not sure. Luther, Petra and Delilah are going… somewhere… to do… something… and that’s it. It doesn’t entirely matter not least because we’re only on #2 and there’s plenty of time left to fill in the blanks, but the series is basically an excuse for Tradd Moore to let loose with his art anyway so it’s not totally important here. Luther’s being targeted by some bad guys and he’s gotta fight them, is what it usually is. Still, I think Jordan could be doing a better job making the setup clearer.
Moore writes the backup, The Twins, with Stephen Green drawing. it tells the story of those two white-shirted psychos from the first issue where the female of the two battled Luther to a standstill. In the backup they’re kids who meet for the first time, with only a few glimpses of the darkness ahead of them amidst their cheerful Americana surroundings. Curiouser and curiouser…
Green is a former apprentice of Sean Murphy’s and it really shows. If you’re familiar with Murphy’s style, you’ll notice a lot of similarities with Green’s. It looks nice though and Felipe Sobreiro’s colours give Green and Moore’s pages a deep beauty.
The Legacy of Luther Strode #2 might infuriate some with the Russian but Moore’s art is more than enough comic for me to highly recommend this issue. If you love fantastical, over-the-top, Hong Kong-movie violence rendered in a unique and gorgeous style, Luther Strode – not just this issue but all of the books in the series – is for you. Speaking of Hong Kong, guess where the gang are headed next?
Do you speak Russian? Let us know what the Gardener and Delilah were saying in the comments below!
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Tradd Moore
Colourist: Felipe Sobreiro