‘Last Sons of America #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The premise alone of Last Sons of America is promising and smartly rolled out on the very first page. In recent American history, a terrorist attack occurred using “Agent Pink” (chemical and biological warfare). This dropped the birthrate to practically zero among US households. The “Mother’s Plague” it’s called. We learn this from brothers, one cannily resembling Peter Dinklage, who are in Mexico making a monetary offer to a family for one of their children. A young girl who could make a lot of money on the new and booming adoption market. This is legal. They are a new brand of adoption agents. In fact, the parents sign documents making it completely official; however, a lot of children have been taken illegally, resulting in missing children cases and a wary eye being directed at not only America but men like our two heroes just trying to make an honest buck.

First of all, it’s no secret that Mexico can be very dangerous. There is a massive drug war occurring south of our border, there is corruption on all levels, poverty runs rampant, and people go missing and end up murdered. It's a perfect place to set any piece of fiction, especially one that hinges specifically on America needing something from them – their family members. In the subtext, what does that say about us? Other people’s children not only become our commodities, but the buyers think they have, in many ways, just as much of a right to their children as they do.

Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s script is tight; it's really grounds the relationship between the brothers, their personal stakes, and point of views. Johnson shows patience, takes his time, and lets the reality of their situation play out, never forcing his hand to up the ante. Looking at Johnson’s website, it seems that, up until now, he has mainly produced web comics. I noticed some Game of Thrones references which would explain the Dinklage connection. If this is his first published comic, I welcome it with open arms.

Matthew Dow Smith’s art, along with Doug Garbark’s colors, turn Mexico into a dark and grimy place, almost as if the sun could never possibly shine there. It doesn’t only help to create the sense of danger, but of poverty. This is not a happy place to visit.

It’s easy to postulate what creators are up to, especially when politics are hinted at, but what we assume in this issue may change by the second, so I won’t make any major thematic declarations at this point. I’m curious to see where this goes.

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