The Standard is the story of two different men from two different eras who share the same heroic legacy. In the past, The Standard was the world’s greatest superhero. Today, he is a celebrity with his own reality TV show. But when a catastrophic event brings the two generations into collision, The Standard is forced to ask if superheroes still have a place in today’s cynical world.
The Standard is a six-part superhero miniseries written by John Lees and drawn by Jonathan Rector. Lees is the winner of the Scottish Independent Comic Book Award for Best Writer 2012 for his work on The Standard.
The Standard is the latest entry into the tradition of deconstructing superheroes and it does a pretty good job at it. This first volume is presented in three parts. The first, takes a look at the original Standard, his origin and has a feel of a old-time comic. It pulls of the retro really well. It also delves into the modern day Standard, a reality television personality selling out his name to make a buck, also the original Standard’s former sidekick.
The second catches us up on the original Standard and is a catalyst for the third part. I don’t want to go into it and give away the surprise.
The third part wraps up a story thread throughout each part, tracking down a kidnapper of children and leaves us with a cliffhanger and at least one unanswered question.
There’s great pacing and plotting between the three sections, each setting each other up and flowing nicely into each other.
The series overall sets up some nice questions as to why stories of the past were so innocent. They focused on robbery, and silly plans while today’s comics are much more violent and mature. As a whole the world has gone down this “darker” path, but the comic brings up, was this really the case or is it nostalgia and we’re misremembering.
I can’t say everything is original, there’s only so many deconstructions you can read, but, the writing, the characters, the pacing makes it really entertaining. It’s a great take on it all and I can see why the comic has won awards.
Do yourself a favor and check out this independent series. It’s great to support indies, and especially so when they’re this good.
Story: John Lees Art: Jonathan Rector
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
ComixTribe provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review