Comic Review: The Last Man Vol. 1 (Image Comics)

Image Comics brings you a martial arts comic about a young warrior who trained to fight in a tournament in The Last Man in its first volume. So what happens […]

Image Comics brings you a martial arts comic about a young warrior who trained to fight in a tournament in The Last Man in its first volume.

So what happens if you take a mediocre webtoon material that has not been promoted for some time, and burst out to bring a french creator to recreate a martial arts comic based on the Dark Tournament arc from Yu Yu Hakusho or the No One Left To Fight comic series on Dark Horse, and took place an ancient town somewhere in South America, you get this comic right out of some Karate Kid movies that you’ve watched. Now I’ve read some of the Webtoon comics that almost feel like that one of them is not really a webtoon material where you make it into a vertical format to scroll down on your phone, but there are some types of comics like this that have some different forms of art that they’re making. Even if you’re making a Shonen manga (Boy’s Comic) or something, this comic would be an example of that, because I’m willing to study other people’s styles to see how did it get into Image Comics. The book is both written and illustrated by two people which are Michael Sanlaville and Bastien Vives, they’re both french comic artists and writers one of them created and wrote so many different stories over time, even though they both created and published this french manga series along with him and Balak which later got translated to Image Comics.

The front cover shows nothing more than other Star Wars movie posters where Luke Skywalker is raising his lightsaber very high which illuminates the light through the stars. However this cover art of the comic, what purpose does this take to create this? The main character is raising his fist high and then the light illuminates the fist through the sky. For some reason, I almost think that this looks like another sci-fi comic based on Star Trek because of the clothes he’s wearing. The background shows a monochrome painting between a woman, a man, and the town all sparkling in blue, again I don’t know what’s the purpose but it looks like the light is illuminating the cover art. On the back of the cover, there’s a quote written by Robert Kirkman who quoted “LASTMAN is a revelation of immense creativity, thrilling as a fan and humbling as a creator… whether you know it or not, you need this book in your life.” To be honest, this is the first Image Comic release of this comic that would get such creativity to the next level, but for me, I’m looking for answers to know what kind of format they create to publish on Image, because that is my goal, to publish my comic series on Image Comics one day.

The story starts in a rural village which almost takes place somewhere in South America, and for some reason at the start of the story, you’ll come across three large Iguanas on the bottom right side of the page. However, inside some buildings, there’s a training hall where the students are trained on how to fight against each other. Even though everyone is training to participate in a tournament, however, Adrian here is lacking focus and he actually not very skilled in fighting. After the class, he and his mom talked about his day until he gets home happy and said that he memorized some moves that he would like to try later. And then after a few pages turn, page 10 just started to have the whole comic in black and white. I do know that back then they were not skilled in painting, but from what I see the coloring looks fine. I don’t know why would they decide to color a few pages and left everything out in black and white.

The next scene shows a parade in the background, and then out of the blue, his partner is sick from a stomachache. I don’t know what’s the deal if that boy gets sick on a big day, which would make them feel really bad, because the tournament rules say that if a teammate is not present, sick, or had a seizure, Adrian and that teammate are out of the tournament. And he was looking forward to participating in that tournament. The next scene shows a man who just woke up late realizing that today is the day of the tournament. However when he got there on time, he realized that the rules changed and he needed a partner, while he was finding one, he stumbled upon Adrian whose partner was sick, and Adrian suggests the grown man be his partner for the tournament. So he introduced himself as Richard, however, he was looking forward to that day, until his mother took him away for giving that stupid excuse not to talk to strangers. Instead of having someone to listen to their nonsense, why doesn’t she start listening to her son about how he really feels that way?

And the next few scenes we get to show how these martial artists fight in the tournament, while I’m seeing that their movements in the art style that they make are obviously too complex. The movements are not very so dynamic even if they have seen a lot of martial arts movies, games, and comics, however, they need to study the human proportions of the way they move dynamically. Well, that is until Richard punched someone in the face during the first match. And after that, Richard does all the fighting while Adrian is left out in the dust. Should I even call this a french Shonen manga? The comic is not perfect as you think because the story is flawless, but the art is something that they should work on. But what’s so strange is that Richard never uses magic, he only relies on his skills and strength. The next day, Richard is training Adrian somewhere outside of the tournament just to get some motivation for him when the time comes for him to fight his next opponent. He taught him how to guard himself properly without using magic. And after that on the day of the quarterfinals, he managed to beat one of his classmates thanks to his instructions. However, someone is pulling his strings around. There’s no point in what comes next, but what are Richard’s intentions for winning the tournament?

I do get the point that this french shonen manga style is more of a webcomic material, but there are some reasons to know why is this comic published on Image Comics. Even though this comic is violent and sexually explicit enough, that doesn’t explain how it gets into this platform. The story is great, but the art is just too simple, to begin with, just by looking into mine and some other webcomics as well. It may be an Image Comic material, however, it fails to see the purpose of making a good martial arts comic without the heart. At the beginning of the book, Robert talks about how great it is to make comics in a collaborative medium, and he starts talking about how he enjoys making comics the most as if he owns and created this comic out of the blue. I’m more appreciated to have this comic created by some men from France, and this was the first time that I read a manga-style comic that is published on Image. So if you’re willing to read another martial arts comic, combined with magic and all, then this is for you.

About Kevin Bermeo

I'm a New Yorker Artist, and I traveled a lot. I enjoy making comics, illustrations, paintings, and digital art. Besides drawing, I'm also a writer, I used to be a Gamer, and I love adventures, food, and dragons.