Last Mortal #2
- Words: John Mahoney & Filip Sablik
- Art: Thomas Nachlik
- Publisher: Top Cow/Image Comics
- Price: $3.99
- Release Date: Jun 29, 2011
Posted by JasonClyma on Jul 1, 2011
Last Mortal #2 continues the series’ fresh take on the noir genre, but slightly stumbles in the middle of the issue. John Mahoney and Failip Sablik write an engaging story, but Thomas Nachlik’s art looks incomplete and unfinished.
Both writers must first be commended for their critical use of a recap page to begin this book. Within six quick frames they not only summarize the entirety of the first issue, but also reintroduce the hook of the series. Last Mortal follows college friends Alec and Brian who botched an assassination attempt, leaving Brian dead and Alec the victim of his own gun. Much to Alec’s dismay, he returns to his grief-filled life with no answers as to why. Throughout issue #2, Alec juggles his search for answers while recalling his and Brian’s first encounter and their introduction to the criminal world. Through a violent confrontation (complete with his second death of the day), Alec discovers his failed job may not be as cut-and-dry as it seems.
The storyline in Last Mortal works well enough to maintain interest, but the hook of Alec’s inability to be killed noticeably raises the series’ quality. What does it mean, for example, to be a man who cannot die in a world surrounded by murder and betrayal? If Mahoney and Sablik take full advantage of the possibilities created by this question, Last Mortal may turn out to be a great piece of crime fiction.
While the story is engaging, Thomas Nachlik’s art in comparison is distracting. Whether intentional or not, the sequences recounting Alec and Brian’s past look unfinished and sketchy. Instead of using defined inks to accent his work, Nachlik uses heavy pencil shading to fill his images. If these expository sequences appear ambiguously unfinished, the single fight scene in this issue is definitely incomplete. There is no appearance of movement or action, and the lackluster art is defined by stiff figures who appear to be more like posing mannequins than men fighting for their lives. To add insult to injury, there is not a single background throughout the fight scene; instead the characters are drawn onto a distractingly blank page.
Last Mortal is definitely a series worth your time and money for the story alone. It could, however, benefit from more time to polish and complete the package. When Nachlik draws scenes in Alec’s present situation, he perfectly captures the requisite noir atmosphere. If he is able to catch-up to Mahoney’s and Sablik’s writing, Last Mortal could become a great exploration of new ideas within the crime genre.
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