Oh, my heart? Yeah, won’t be needing that anymore.
Good god, I just finished the latest volume of the Last Man series, and I just want to crawl into a hole and stay there. This book series has been unbelievably deep and wondrous in its multifaceted plot, and the upcoming sixth installment is in no way different. The fifth just launched a little over a week ago (at the time I’m writing this), and I devoured it and the follow up that this review focuses on in two afternoons. Firstly, if you’re reading this and haven’t yet stepped into the world that Bastien Vives, Michael Sanlaville, and Balak have brought to life, then you should bookmark this page, run off to read them, and come back so that I can share (without spoilers) what you’re in store for come November.
Secondly, welcome back. As you now know, this series is fantastically well crafted, every page flies by with a speed that always surprises me, and I’m always left wanting more.
Volume 5 left us with Marianne, Adriene, and Tomei having been taken by the newly revealed Order of the Lion> Richard, H, and Cristo Canyon were trying to figure out the next step. We also got a glimpse of what was going on back in the Valley, and though we’re not quite certain of the direness of the actions being taken, there were enough clues to make us worry for the peace that suffuses the kingdom. Things kick off in this issue pretty much where they left off, but the stakes raise exponentially throughout the book. The action hardly slows from cover to cover, and yet we find out so much more about the forces at work behind the action so far. This book could also be titled Revelations, because we are given boatloads of info in very creative ways about all manner of things, from Cristo’s origin to the foundation of the Order of the Lion to why Richard lit out of the Valley in the first place. The arc feels as though it’s closing as we come to the end of the volume, things begin to settle into a new stasis, and then it happens. Like any episode of Game of Thrones, our very beings are torn asunder in the final ten pages. The world is turned wholly upside down and now I’m going to go and lie down for a while and deal with all of these feelings.
Okay, now where was I? *sniff*
Damn it, be right back.
Ooooookay. The art is as beautiful as ever, with the overt and subtle touches continuing to astound. Incredible action is balanced by brilliant and nuanced character usage, with facial and body expressions pulling us into the world. Looking more like an animated show, there’s a wonderful feel to the work that makes the action come alive, more so than just about any other series I’ve ever seen. The composition of every panel is staggeringly effective, wrapping us gently into the story and not letting go until the final page.
A lot of books try to come out to our world, with “BAMF”s and “POW”s leaping at us, commanding our attention. This series has always had the opposite effect, bringing us to their story, to their world, and doing so with an easy-feeling effort, so that when you come to the last page, you feel as though you’ve just come up for air. There’s a brief moment of not knowing where you are, as you’ve been completely transported by the incredible work on the page. This is one of my favorite series that I’ve ever had the luck to chance upon, and, hopefully, you’ll wander in to be amazed by it, as well.
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