This is a bloody fun comic book about killing mobsters. I should confess that I have not read any of the earlier Luther Strode comics. In fact, I had never heard of the character. So, how does the book do at introducing new readers?
Not well. I was a little concerned that I was missing something when I started reading. The first thing you’ll see when you open the book is “Five years later.” And, that’s all the backstory you get. Luther Strode (I’m assuming. The name is never mentioned by anybody.) is on a mission to kill all the bad guys. Think Axe Cop without the humor, but with extra blood. There is no reference to any of the things that happened five years earlier, so I don’t know how that relates to the current events. Currently, Luther is waging a one-man war on organized crime. This war mostly involves punching mobsters into mush.
So, I should mention the extreme violence of this issue. That out of the way, and ignoring my ignorance of the character, let’s discuss the book. The plot is fairly simple; Luther Strode punches some mobsters to death and their bosses don’t like that. They hire some specialty muscle and (surprise) Luther punches them to death, too. I actually liked the book, even if I didn’t really know what was going on. The characters barely reached the second dimension, but they were fine for what the book needed.
I honestly don’t know exactly how to feel about this comic, because it turned into a totally different story after I started doing some super basic research. Before I knew anything, I thought this was a tale of revenge and the backstory would be built up over the next few issues. I enjoyed it, despite the massive questions I had about the details and motivations of the silent protagonist, and I enjoyed the simple story. Then, I found out that this is the sequel to a story that I had never heard of.
The last thing that I want to do is suggest that a creator needs to spend several issues recapping the story, so that the lowest common denominator is up to speed, but three panels of light backstory would help.
Ultimately, despite the lack of effort to keep new readers in the know, this is an entertaining bit of ultra-violence. The action is good, the villains seem interesting, and I am interested to see where it goes. I just wish I knew more about where it came from.
Four Lethal Rock-Em Sock-Em Vigilantes out of Five.