Issue #3 is the action issue. It's all running and fighting as the situation heats up. We get a basic look at both the Boston military and the Fireflies this issue, as well as a lot of growth from Ellie. It's also the first time the comic has touched upon the Infected and all the dangers and problems they impose upon the world of The Last of Us.
Speaking of Infected, this must be the week for me to rave about covers, because Julian Totino Tedesco's cover for this issue is incredible and scary as hell. Faith Erin Hicks' art continues to shine. I wouldn't have pegged her style as the sort that would work with a lot of action, but damn if she didn't deliver this issue, pulling off both chases and more violent action scenes. The one thing I can fault her on is the look of her Infected comes across as more silly than terrifying to me, lacking the monster essence that they have in other media. It's her depiction of the seemingly faceless Boston military and Fireflies who scared the bejeezus out of me.
Connections to The Last of Us Game (Minor Spoilers)
I binged the hell out of The Last of Us, and it was one of the best gaming experiences ever. While I will talk about it in an in-depth review, I did want to touch upon how playing the game enhanced the comic and vice versa.
While playing the game, the facts I learned about Ellie in the first two issues kept coming up. Not surprising given that Neil Druckmann wrote both, but it was a great experience seeing how connected the two were and how I didn't need to know these facts about Ellie ahead of time, but, since I did, it wasn't going to be sidestepped or ignored. For example, the second the horses came up, I knew we were going to touch upon an American Dreams Issue #2 moment. Hearing this story again brought a smile to my face as I remembered Ellie's lessons in Issue #2.
Going back and reading this early Ellie story, I've come to appreciate even more how that character grew and evolved throughout the game. Even knowing the more tragic parts of her life enhanced this issue, as I was waiting for certain moments the game taught me had to happen and how the issue was able to play with my expectations, which is where the real horror and tension came into play for me.
Is American Dreams a must read for fans of the game? No. But, it provides just a little more insight into that world of The Last of Us and Druckmann did an amazing job making it a part of the whole.
Four Distracted Clickers out of Five