By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Mike Perkins
Captain Tripps is the name given to the first of many minis (say that 5 times fast) that Marvel is publishing to adapt Stephen King’s masterpiece The Stand. I’ll admit to having never read the 1,000+ page novel. It’s on the list of “need-to-reads,” but that’s a monster. You need to have a block of time set aside before attempting that Everest of a novel. I say all of this because it allows me to read the comic as the comic without having to draw comparison to the novel. In some ways, this has to be what non-comic readers feel when they go see Iron Man. The irony here is palpable.
The story jumps all over the country with a rather large cast of characters as they deal with the deadly super flu called Captain Tripps. The government created it as a weapon, but it got out and is spreading like mad and it has a 95 percent mortality rate. Our heroes (if you can call them that at this point) are immune to the disease but are hardly untouched by it since everyone they know is dead or dying at this point. What’s strange is that while the book was written some 20-odd years ago, I’d say that it’s more relevant now than ever. In this age of fear from bio-terror, this is a chilling story and it all seems very real. We’re getting a slight tinge of the supernatural in the story now with the introduction of Randall Flagg in this issue, but by and large, this is a very grounded story.
Artist Mike Perkins has really stepped up his game here from Captain America and that is saying something. His super realistic style only enhances the mood and adds to the sense that these people could be real. The small towns and government buildings are all rendered with the same attention to detail as the human characters and while that’s almost always the case with an artist like Perkins, it’s stories like this that always make me aware of the setting.
The next chapter starts next month. Get on it.
4.5 out of 5 pieces of crumpled literature