By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (writer), Mike Perkins (art), Laura Martin (colors)

I tried numerous times to read this novel as a kid, but it was just too dense for me. When the mini-series came on TV I completely forgot to watch it. So there was definitely some enthusiasm going into this book. I don’t know much of the story, only its basic premise: There’s a viral outbreak in America and The Stand is about those who survive the plague. I’m a fan of survival horror stories and this debut issue wasted no time in getting me involved with the characters and their soon to be post-apocalyptic future.

I can’t say how faithful this is to the novel, but being a first time reader, myself, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa impressed me with his ability to introduce to an ensemble cast, quickly set the tone, and pace the spread of the of the virus. What I could have done without, however, are the character profiles at the end of the book. Seeing these instantly told me that these characters would most likely be survivors. For new readers like me this serves nothing more than to spoil the story. Bad call, Marvel.

Mike Perkins carries over the fantastic style he delivered in Captain America to The Stand. His work here is much more grounded in reality. In fact it may be too grounded in reality – there’s a few scenes that look a little too photo referenced for their own good. But all in all, this is a beautiful book that’s further accented by Laura Martin’s brilliant coloring. Unlike The Dark Tower series that Marvel’s been putting out The Stand needs no prior reading. And for that, I highly recommend it to just about anyone looking to dip their feet into Stephen King’s world. (Grade: A-)

– J. Montes