In the final issue of Legend of Luther Strode, the conflict comes to an all new high for this gore-filled epic. The responsibility of hero is split between Luther and his eccentric sidekick/girl crush, Petra, who has taken a real liking to all the excitement that comes with being hunted by a crazed murder-maniac. To be honest, though, none of the character dynamics are what make this series, or more specifically, this finale any better. It’s Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro and their ability to creatively splash red ink across each panel that makes me salivate for more Luther Strode. I mean, we get a downright incredible two-page spread of artistic slaughter that takes place on the multiple levels of a shopping mall. This book is just what the doctor ordered… assuming he ordered severed limbs and sawed-off heads. It really should be of no surprise that I give The Legend of Luther Strode finale as well as the entire storyline 5 out of 5 Nerd Skulls.
The first issue of Sheltered came straight out of left field and had me quite floored with its somber expression. Penning itself as the Pre-Apocalypse storyline, Ed Brisson tells the story of a compound that remains prepared for the impending fall of society year round. In issue one, the children of the compound launch a secretive attack on the adults. The reasoning is unknown, but once the group leaders are tricked out into the snowy woods, they are murdered like dogs, shot down by their own kin. Compound newcomer, Victoria, knows nothing of the attack, and in issue two, we see her initial reactions to finding her father’s lifeless body being carried by some of the other children. Victoria is captured but quickly flees and starts planning retaliation. Sheltered has a very distinct feeling to it that is leaves you with goosebumps. It’s a dismal rendition similar to Lord of the Flies if written by Jeff Lemire. For not only holding my attention , but peaking it even more, I give Sheltered #2, 4 out of 5 Nerd Skulls.
The story for Burn the Orphanage: Born to Lose starts off simple enough; An orphanage falls victim to an arson by an unknown culprit and leaves one surviving child. His heart full of vengeance, he spends many years looking for the men and/or women responsible. Issue one of the 3 issue series shows the main character, Rock, as he beats up one informant after the other in his search for the truth. I don’t want to nitpick, especially on an indie title, but I believe a story needs to make a few things clear in order to draw an audience. One of them was sorely missed in this issue, and that was time frame. Issue one has such a large gap in time without making any glances back, that it is unclear how much time has passed and what information the protagonist has collected thus far. Also, without giving away the end of the book, it almost seems like he finds his villain at the end of this issue, leaving me wondering why we need 2 more issues in the series. Sina Grace artwork is a delight but is that enough? Determine that for yourself, but I will give this issue 2 and a half Nerd Skulls.