Talk about a debut that hits the ground running. Still I would call this the strongest debut from Black Label currently. The Last God is not one of those books which holds your hand as you explore a new world of fantasy and horrors. In only the events of the first issue they rip the band-aid off that tells you that there is any sense of wonder to be had from what the people of this world are about to face again. As I said last month, there is nothing about The Last God that is for the faint of heart, and I hope these issues to come continue to push the envelope with room to tell a story you aren’t going to get often from the Big Two.
This second chapter picked up from the same momentum that the first issue built up. From the minute you flip open to that first page you are reminded of what has now once again been unleashed upon the world, albeit from a different perspective. With this second chapter they took the opportunity to begin finding a groove in transitioning between events of the past and present. It made a big difference that while seeing what was happening in present time, we could also see what it was like for these people who were introduced to the undead army of the Last God with little idea as to what they were up against. This was also a great time for us to actually begin to get to know the champions of the past. For as much as they are celebrated now, that’s not who these people actually are. The Last God #2 offers a better look at how heroic they really were when they made first contact, and how they even interacted with one another as the party began to take form.
In the present, that was where the true horror lied because this is a situation that could have easily been prevented if the champions of the past were upfront about what really happened when they confronted the Last God. Even in this issue you find it interesting how many of them present themselves to be very unlikable because they let all the guilt, fame, and politics of the world go to their heads. Definitely for the best of course when we are supposed to be seeing how these heroes are at the end of the day frauds. You know that saying, never meet your heroes? This was the best way to capture that saying in the most gruesome of ways.
Now what’s so tragic about what happens in this chapter, is that they also wasted little time making sure that we understood that being frauds doesn’t exactly mean there isn’t anything to sympathize with those champions. They doomed the world with their lies, though to some extent it seems we are understanding what kind of danger they were really up against to do what they did.
Again you will fall in love with the interior work for this book because this is a bold world they have rendered for us. I have to give this art team credit for the way they have tackled this not being your average fantasy tale. When you read fantasy, you quickly think pretty, lush, extravagant. However, this art team indulges in the chaos and stuff of nightmares that we have been quick thrust into once the Last God revealed himself. The darkness which swept over the pages, the fires engulfing the city, the bodies torn to unrecognizable form. You think of undead army, or even undead infection, and its a brutal image that is brought to mind when you run into something so terrifying for the way it ravages through people. Aside from this, what really immerses you in these moments is the facial expressions which paints the image of fear which makes the danger believable.
Something I never got to acknowledge before was the beauty in the pages which follow the end of each issue. The stained colors which make each page look like parchment is great. So is the map work which is brilliantly done. I even found myself taken back by the way they went so far as to add the actual music sheet to what some of the citizens of the city sang.
DC’s dark fantasy epic hits a good stride through the events of The Last God #2. This was the best time to begin setting a pace for a story which takes place between two points in time. I’m glad that there is also a strong transition between the two which doesn’t lose you along the way. There’s madness in the present, but to understand that you must also know what happened in the past.