Marvel finally made it to the end of their adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. And what an awesome adaptation it was! Back in the 1970s, they would have squeezed this novel into twenty-eight pages and hired some crappy artist to bang it out. But for this, they really went all out. And though we like to mock ‘writing for the trades’ as much as anyone, this book really did merit the epic, sprawling treatment.
In some ways, this comic book is even superior to the novel. Why do we say that? If there’s anything wrong with The Stand, it’s a tendency towards verbosity. Don’t get us wrong — King’s prose really does it for us most of the time. (And we have read the unabridged version twice, thank you.) But you could really chop out about a hundred pages of descriptions and take an axe to several slowly grinding subplots and have a real barn-burner of a novel. Like the extended attention to Nadine and the little boy — yawn. Just get to more Trash Can Man, dude!!!
However, in the comic book adaptation by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Mike Perkins, and the incredible Laura Martin, everything seems paced at just the right speed. The pictures really are worth a thousand words here. Plus, Trash Can Man. Nuff Said!
Feast your eyes on these opening scenes from the first issue. It appeared in The Stand: Captain Trips #1 and was reprinted in the Captain Trips hardcover and The Stand TPB. (We wouldn’t be surprised if they put them all in omnibus soon.) If you didn’t pick these up as they came out, now’s a great time to get them all at less than cover price. Thank you, Randall Flagg, for the secondary market!
Now, commence the devastation of society!