Comic Book: The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode is about your average geek, the eponymous Luther Strode. Tired of being bullied, Luther sends for an exercise course from the back of an old comic book. What he gets is the instruction manual from a murder cult as old as mankind that does everything that it promised--and more!

A six issue mini series written by Justin Jordan, illustrated by Tradd Moore and colored by Felipe Sobreiro, this Image Comics imprint is a demented deconstruction of Charles Atlas Superpower. It also contains some "sweet, sweet ultraviolence" in the words of the writer. In other words, it is not for the faint of heart.

The first issue of the sequel, The Legend of Luther Strode, was released on December 5, 2012 and wrapped up with its sixth issue on August 7th, 2012.

The first issue of the final miniseries, The Legacy of Luther Strode, was released on April 8, 2015.

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode contains examples Of:

  • Adorkable: Luther Strode before his transformation into a hulking man-beast.
  • Asshole Victim: The people that Luther horrifically murders aren't very nice people to begin with.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: One of the key tenets of the philosophy espoused by the murder cult that the Librarian represents. It is not surprising considering that its founder is Cain from The Bible.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: It's shown that any student of the Hercules Method gains the ability to read the moves of others perfectly to the point that it borders on clairvoyance. Doesn't work so well on other practitioners of the Hercules Method as Luther learns in his first meeting with the Librarian.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Luther Strode.
  • Barbarian Long Hair: Luther in Legacy
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: As shown in the comics, the Biblical Samson, his consort Delilah, and Jack the Ripper were all practitioners of the Hercules Method which allowed them to accomplish the feats that made them famous (or infamous to be exact). Cain himself was the first practitioner and invented the Hercules Method.
  • Berserk Button: Luther's is men threatening or hurting women. This is because his dad used to abuse his mother.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: Who else would be better to run an ancient murder cult than the first murderer himself?
  • Big Bad: The Librarian.
  • Bigger Bad: Cain.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Deconstructed. The Hercules Method can turn you into an incredibly powerful being but at a steep price. In the end, Luther is so distraught that he doesn't bother defending himself when he is being gunned by the police.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: "Meat-vision," the horrifying aspect of the Hercules Method.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Petra.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Luther and Petra both get a few choice lines.
  • Death Seeker: Luther.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Luther crosses this when he accidentally kills his own mother.
  • Domestic Abuser: Luther and Petra's fathers.
  • The Dreaded: Cain.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: In interesting case which points out that enlightenment is simply a realization and not necessarily about positive spiritual growth. The students of the Hercules Method come to the profound realization that their minds can overcome their physical limitations.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Librarian was also a social outcast who discovered the Hercules Method, a fact that he enjoys harping upon.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Librarian.
  • Genius Bruiser: The Librarian's punishing physical power is matched only by his intellect.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: There are many instances where it fortunate for Luther that the Hercules method allows him to heal himself of horrific injuries.
  • Jack the Ripper: Implied to be one of the members of the cult. He is and Luther fights him in Legend.
  • Heal Thyself: How the healing abilities of the students that practice the Hercules method work. Depending on the damage it may take more concentration to recover from serious injuries.
  • But I Read A Book About It: How students usually learn the Hercules Method.
  • Jerk Jock: Jacobson. So much so, one would think the "V" on his varsity jacket stands for "Violent."
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: "Dynamic Tension" is a registered trademark of Charles Atlas, Ltd. Any and all resemblance to the "Hercules Method" as portrayed in The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode is purely coincidental.
  • Master of Your Domain: This is essentially how the Hercules Method works. The students concentrate until they can bring all of their physiological processes under their control.
  • Mook Horror Show: Heavily invoked in the first issue of The Legend of Luther Strode.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: A Healing Factor that would put Wolverine to shame and the ability to actually "catch" bullets by flexing one's muscles make it insanely difficult to kill a practitioner of the Hercules Method.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: The Librarian. Luther Strode even calls him one after hearing his Motive Rant.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Cain
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Librarian and Binder.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Luther's modus operandi in The Legend of Luther Strode.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Any student of the Hercules Method but in particular the Bound or students with the greatest potential. As the Librarian states when he comes to get Luther "It's not as if Cain could come to get you. There would hardly be a city left".
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Pete. Until his death at the hands of the Librarian.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: This is how the students of the Hercules Method heal themselves. The students can control their bodies to the point where they force their flesh, blood, and bone back together like the Big Bad from Ninja Scroll.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Luther manages to defeat the Librarian, but it costs him dearly.
  • Religion of Evil: The order of students that practice the Hercules Method. It started with Cain and as he passed on his knowledge they gathered into a group that worshiped murder. At one point the Binder even states, "Why would I want to stop him? What Luther does? It's holy. I wish I had the gifts he does".
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: This is arguably the purpose of Pete's death. Though he does show up as a zombie in the ashcan to explain Luther's powers. While the story does have some humorous/happy moments in The Legend of Luther Strode, it never approaches the comedic elements present in the first issues of The Strange Talent.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Strongly implied to be the ultimate source of Luther Strode's talent.
  • Suicide by Cop: Luther Strode's chosen mode of suicide. It didn't take.
  • Technical Pacifist: Breaking Luther Strode of this becomes the Librarian's chief motive. He succeeds a little too well.
  • Time Skip: There's five years between Strange Talent and Legend of Luther Strode.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: While Luther already has exceptional potential even for a student of the Hercules Method, in his final fight with the Librarian, after he accidentally kills his mother, Luther finally lets go of his inhibitions and starts to see the Librarian's moves where he couldn't before. As the fight continues, Luther gets stronger and stronger until a warehouse is destroyed and he rips the Librarian's head off spine and all.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Luther, big time. He goes from a skinny wimp to a muscular killing machine that can tear apart special forces trained mercenaries, twist steel like it's taffy, and catch bullets in his pectoral muscles.
  • Training from Hell: Averted. The Hercules Method, as portrayed in the comic, is very low impact with a heavy emphasis on meditation techniques similar to ones found in self-help books. The transformation Luther experiences is not typical.
  • Twice Shy: Petra, Luther Strode's Love Interest, has been waiting a long time for him to make the first move.
  • Weak, but Skilled: While none of the students of the Hercules Method could really be seen as weak, there are the "Average" students and then there are the Bound. The Bound are students that are so good and so powerful that they cannot or will not control themselves when it comes to killing. It's even stated that the Bound are so proficient at the Hercules Method that they are immune to aging and biologically immortal. When a student becomes too strong and needs to be reigned in, a normal student like the Binder is called in to capture them. The Binder even states "Our weakness is our strength as we realize how weak we are compared to you". The Binder relies on skill and weapons to take down the out of control students.
  • Wicked Cultured: Show of hands. How many people know the meaning of the word "soupçon?" Well, the Librarian does and can use said word in casual conversation. He's quite the educated bastard.