February 25, 2012

Image Reviews: The Last of the Greats #5

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Written by: Alex
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The Last Of The Greats #5
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Brent Peeples
Inks: Nick Nix
Colors: Eddy Swan
Letters: Troy Peteri
Editor: Rod Levin
Design: Tony Fleecs
Production: Phil Smith
Logo: Kody Chamberlain

The fifth issue of The Last of the Greats is a grand example of what makes modern comics stand apart from other cultural mediums. The previous issues were laden with a ton of compelling dialog, while this particular book is surprisingly light reading. It may seem like these are two opposite forms of storytelling, but Josh and Brent make a very smooth transition into this epic climax. It feels natural and intentional rather than lazy or desperate.

Downright amazingly awesome is a more accurate description.

The artwork is downright breathtaking at times. Every page flows like a novel playing that spine-tingling movie music on the brink of consciousness. When a little tidbit is not fully clear, as far as understanding goes, the illustrations keep one’s interest, and do their designated task of keeping the story going and getting the reader to the next area of development and explanation. This issue almost feels like reading a really good manga; each page is a thunderous, earth-shaking blow to the face without relying too heavily on deep conversations.

Granted, this book is radically different from its predecessors, and it is, for just a second, in danger of feeling thin, or possibly hollow. Some may be irked ever so slightly for a brief moment by this, but the progression of the plot into the fast approaching The Return of the Greats quickly eradicates any sense of feeling rushed.

What is perhaps the most important development to The Last of the Greats in this chapter is the introduction of hope. So far both the world and the one entrusted with saving it have been painfully dystopian. While necessary to the story, true art really needs to have something positive the beholder can take with them. Thankfully, now is that moment of transition when things start to look up. When a protagonist gets raped, it’s time to go over-the-top and have his daughter totally kick some supervillain butt. It really isn’t something that needs to be wordy. Everyone has wanted to see The Last get his teeth kicked in, and while they don’t literally get kicked in, he gets beat up pretty bad, which is sweet and satisfying.

Alexander Lorenzen



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