Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Stand v1: Captain Tripps HC

I've read most of Stephen King's Dark Tower-associated books, but for some odd reason I never got around to The Stand. Maybe because the version I have is the size of a small townhouse; I just don't have the patience to pick it up and start it. So I figured the comic would be easier to start with. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa does a nice job with the comic; this feels like a Stephen King story. The strongest parts of this collection deal with the vectors of the Captain Tripps virus as it spreads across the US. King does a nice job mixing up the folks he introduces the reader to, sometimes we're meeting leading characters, sometimes we're meeting imminent victims.

The other neat thing about this book is that it doesn't jump to the post-apocalyptic state. This entire trade deals with the fall of America as the government and military try to limit the scope of their incompetence. Lying, shooting civilians, and political maneuvering all add to the chaos of Captain Tripps, and the sad part is that I think King has it right. The story is a product of its time, with no internet (not sure if I saw any cell phones) so that helps limit the scope of news, but the government is downright brutal in this.

Randall Flagg, the Walking Dude, (was he the man in black that Roland chases in The Gunslinger?) is a creepy guy. I'm interested to see how such an obviously supernatural character fits in with this mostly grounded story. My one complaint is that this is pretty slow; the collection seems pretty short. If it left me wanting more, maybe that isn't a complaint!

Mike Perkins is always solid, and this is one pretty comic. The characters have to look unique without costumes, one of the hardest tricks in comics, but Perkins pulls it off. The folks here are recognizable and at this point, I think I can figure out who is good or bad just by looks.


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