Coming full circle.

Lucifer's Sword

Written by Phil Cross and Darwin Holmstrom
Illustrated by Ronn Sutton

Published 2014 by Motorbooks Press

Buy it HERE.

Google 'biker comic book' and this Graphic Novel pops up on the first page. Writer Phil Cross borrows from his past experiences first as a Gypsy Joker and then as a full-fledged Hell's Angel in a very capable, solid story.

Lucifer's Sword is of course fictitious. But the legend behind it packs an interesting punch. Leader Gypsy's Great-Grandad fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. His sword is emblazoned with the motto: "Corruptissima Republica Plurimae Leges" (The Republic that is the most corrupt has the most laws.) Set in the San Jose area circa 1965 we get to know the other members through the gradual advancement of a prospect named Frenchy.

Enter Hermanos Satanas

Frenchy's made to clean toilets at first but before long gets embroiled in the Lucifer's Sword MC drama. They pick a fight with their Latino counterparts Hermanos Satanas (Satan's Brothers). There's a clash about their leader Carlos, who got upset about his old lady making love to Gypsy one night. Things escalate. Bodies fall. Lucifer's Sword members blow up Hermanos Satanas' clubhouse one night. There's also involvement with Federal Agents, who turn out to play an ironic role at the end.

Looking at the release date matching Sons of Anarchy I can see parallels in both story lines. What Lucifer's Sword gets right though is the total obedience and loyalty felt through the club as opposed to its FX Network's counterpart -somebody was always betraying SAMCRO from within at any time. It's that nod to authenticity I like in this graphic novel.

As for the art, it's serviceable. Drawn and inked in a very straightforward style, Ronn Sutton gets the message across. The shading and use of black areas is interesting too. Where this comic falls a bit short though is in the artwork, I was hoping for something more wild, more vivid. There's implied group sex on a pool table. There's point-blank gun play. Lots of gross, sexual, or obscene subjects to exploit art wise, here Ronn doesn't ramp up the imagery, it always remains rather plain.

Blast from the past...

As for coming full circle, once I went to college in the middle of nowhere (Grand Forks, ND) for three years in the late 1980s. I met several people, and moved on, assuming I'd never hear from any of them ever again. Much to my surprise a particular person who I knew from Grand Forks (he and his wife had me over for dinner and gave me a Tarot card reading) named Darwin Holmstrom popped up as a contributor to this book. Small world.

Next Tuesday:

It's sci-fi, it's a super hero book and it's in color! Daybreak by New Pain Productions.

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