The third series in Marvel's adaptation of The Stand, Soul Survivors, continues the process begun in the last series of pulling all of the characters together, this time mainly on the "good" side. The excellent artwork depicts every character in sharp detail, interpreting Stephen King's descriptions from his novel with fantastic clarity. Reading and looking at these graphic novels makes me feel like I'm seeing King's book happen right in front of me, a book I've read numerous times, gaining close familiarity with the characters and the events that transpire. Not that I'm claiming to be an expert, but after reading it and watching the movie by King and Mick Garris many times each, I've come to know the story quite well. One of the joys of this series is seeing so many of the scenes not shown in the movie, like the chaotic gunfight between the captors of Susan Stern and Dayna Jurgens and the group made up of Stu, Fran, Harold, and Glen. Not to mention the tornado that Nick and Tom escape.
Which reminds me--bringing the characters together. In the first chapter, Nick meets Tom Cullen in Oklahoma, and then decides to let Tom travel with him. After a dangerous encounter with Julie Lawry, the two are picked up by Ralph Brentner. In Chapter Two, Larry, who is alone after the death of his first road companion, Rita, meets Nadine Cross and Joe. In the third chapter, Stu's crew accepts Susan and Dayna, along with a few other survivors, into their camp after winning the insane showdown, then proceed toward Nebraska and Mother Abigail. Also, Stu and Fran finally begin their romantic relationship, but are unwittingly spied on by Harold. The fourth chapter formally introduces Mother Abigail, devoting the entire chapter to illustrating her life history and recent visions and messages from God concerning the upcoming struggle with Randall Flagg. At the end of this chapter, Nick, Tom, and Brent are the first to reach her house at Hemmingord Home, Nebraska. The last chapter features the botched appendectomy Stu and the others attempt to perform, and Mother Abigail leaving Hemmingford Home with the few who've arrived, headed for Boulder, Colorado, where the rest of the survivors will gather. Any fan of The Stand couldn't ask for a better adaptation than Marvel has put together, and this installment is no exception. They've done a truly amazing job providing a worthy companion to Stephen King's novel.