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August 25, 2011

Image Reviews: The Last Of The Greats #1

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Written by: Alex
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The Last Of The Greats #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Brent Peeples

After reading the first few pages of issue 1, I was a little skeptical to be completely honest. At first it seemed like we had another tale regarding the hubris of humanity on our hands. Another Namor-esque character at the forefront, arrogantly pointing out all the mistakes humans have made, will continue to make, and their unwillingness to change. He would eventually be won over by an idealistic human who stood apart, and realize that people are special and worth saving (very much like Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen).

Fortunately, I spoke much too soon. It seemed like before I knew it, surprises came at almost every turn. A subtle and delightful irony that at first went unnoticed was the last Great’s lair in the antarctic. It seemingly pays homage to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude (the throne of ice especially), but it houses a god-like Great that is on the other end of the spectrum from the American icon in red and blue tights. From there, my curiosity was piqued.

The origin of the Greats was very unique; coming to our world not to save us, but to fix their own mistakes. I’m a sucker for a good redemption story, and the thought of super-powered beings wanting to help the people of earth because they have regrets of their own makes it very relatable. After reading the last Great’s dialog, it’s almost impossible to not take his side, especially after seeing one of his siblings die in an attempt to save a crashing plane on September 11, 2001. The people in China cheer and exclaim their joy at being free of the Great, but how could they be so heartless at the scene of her death? I found myself taking the Great’s side, agreeing that when faced with the fear of the unknown, humans can be disgusting towards those who are only trying to help.

Many #1’s make me feel agitated with the amount of introduction and exposition in a title that I am not yet invested in, but not so with LOTG. A few pages in, and Josh Fialkov’s writing will have you hooked. Brent Peeples art is nothing new or innovative in the world of comics, but it’s by no means terrible to look at, and he definitely does his part in telling the story. Brent’s greatest strength is showing the absolute power of the Greats, especially when their last chokes two soldiers until their eyes burst from their skulls.

As far as comics go, this one has great potential. It led me in one direction, and violently pulled me in another. I get the feeling that The Last Of The Greats will not only ask thought provoking questions, but provide thought provoking answers as well.

Bring on #2!

Alexander Lorenzen
alex@comicattack.net

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