Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Kurt Sutter & Caitlin Kittredge
Artist: Jesus Hervás
Colours: Adam Metcalfe
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Kurt Sutter’s demonic take on Quantum Leap continues in Lucas Stand #3, with hell still waging a civil war by proxy, and our eponymous anti-hero thrown back in time to the wild west. As is always the case, Lucas has a job to do in the infamous town of Deadwood, but what he doesn’t know is that he’ll be aided in his demon-hunting by an unexpected ally, as long as he can keep his oxycontin withdrawal symptoms under control.
Sutter and Kittredge’s writing continues to be sharp and engaging, and the issue is well-paced both as an individual story and part of a bigger narrative. But cracks are starting to show in series’ storytelling, and the plotting in Lucas Stand #3 feels a little clumsy and confused at times. That our main character simply runs into a resident of the 19th century who readily believes his crazy story is a contrivance too far, and some of the issue’s dialogue falls victim to lazy cliché. That said, the story stills grips, and Lucas’ ongoing struggle to conquer his demons (both figurative and literal) makes Lucas Stand #3 compelling reading.
Hervás and Metcalfe’s artwork is still mired in a subdued palette of greys and pinks, but the oppressive tones and shadowy linework are actually completely appropriate to accompany this story of moral ambiguity and tortuous redemption. The soot and grime of the old west are splattered across the pages during Lucas’ time-hopping scenes, and although Hervás’ character work is a little undifferentiated, there’s some genuine creepiness on display once the monster reveals itself. Lucas Stand #3 is a flawed installment, but Sutter’s intriguing story ideas and the persistent atmosphere of dread mixed with faint hope make you want to read the next one right away.