COMIC REVIEW: The Standard

The Standard, a Scottish Independent Comic Book Awards Nominee written by John Lees and drawn by Jonathan Rector following the story of Alex Thomas. Thomas is the new Standard, taking the place of his mentor Gilbert Graham who has since retired. Alex feels he is living in the shadow of Gilbert, unable to succeed to the same level. He is desperate to find a little girl who he promised the mother he would find.

This book reeks of professionalism, looking and acting like a Marvel or DC Comic. The Standard creative team have no fear in showing the world that they are just as smart and clever as the big boys.

Rector’s art is up there with the best in the business at the moment and it is shocking to think that this is Lees first dip into the big bad world of comic book writing.

The story arc works well, especially in the final couple of pages. Lees cleverly manages to make you think that this book is about one thing and then you find out it is about another. To begin with it might seem slightly jarring to have the two differing styles (one being silver age and one being modern). But once you have realised what is going on this actually works very well. The stereotypes of the silver age are played on in the dialogue giving the impression that Lees is a student of the game: a necessary quality to succeed. One possible problem with this is that it might lead issue two to being another issue one, having to introduce characters and the like. But with such a competent creative team, I have no fear that they will manage to pull this off. Further, the blurb seems to provide much of the same information as the first opening pages. In this medium, the pages work so well that it would seem little point in including the blurb. Yet this does not deter from the enjoyment factor.

The Standard is a thoroughly enjoyable first issue. It interlinks the bright sliver age with the dark tones of today’s comics well. It is a successful first issue and is definitely worth picking up. I am intrigued to see where this goes.

GS Rating:3 1/2 out of 5

GS Reporter: Luke Halsall

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