Home > Marvel Comics > The Stand: No Man’s Land #1

The Stand: No Man’s Land #1

March 5, 2011

Creative Director: Stephen King
Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa
Mike Perkins
Laura Martin
Rus Wooton
Tomm Coker
Ralph Macchio
Marvel Comics

With the new committee elected, the Boulder Free Zone seems to be getting itself together, ready to begin rebuilding civilization. But in Las Vegas, Randall Flagg’s forces are gaining power as well, and Nadine Cross will soon have to make a dreadful decision about whose side she will ultimately choose.

Having read the novel version of The Stand several times, I of course already knew what Nadine’s choice will be, but I have to give the scripter credit here for setting things up in such a way that the uninitiated could genuinely believe there’s a choice in the matter. Truly, that’s the tragedy of Nadine’s character – a lifetime of servitude to Randall Flagg led her to a moment where she could possibly get out, and the choice she makes decides her destiny. If you don’t know what that choice is, there’s some real good drama here. It helps the book out nicely, which it need, as Aquirre-Sacasa continues to bury us under an avalanche of caption boxes and overwritten narration. I know I’ve been complaining about this from the very beginning of Marvel’s efforts to turn The Stand into a comic book, but I have to. It’s the only thing keeping this from being a great adaptation. Captions should be used sparingly, when you can’t rely on the artwork to tell the story. But Mike Perkins and Laura Martin are brilliant artists and rarely need the help. We can get two or three boxes in a single panel describing how a character feels, while just to the right there’s a single drawing that does exactly the same job, and far more effectively.

I like this comic, but not as much as I should. Sometimes, they put out “Artist editions” of comics, where you just get the artwork and no text. This is one time I really think I would prefer that.

Rating: 7/10

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