Review: The Last Fall #1
Marcus Fall is a battle-hardened soldier in a long-running inter-planetary war. After multiple combat tours, Fall is finally able to leave the military and return to his beloved wife and son. But his happy homecoming comes to a tragic end when a suicide bomber murders his family. Devastated, Fall returns to the war with one bloody mission in mind: revenge against the enemy… every last one of them.
A new five-issue series kicks off this week with IDW’s The Last Fall #1. The story is written by Tom Waltz with art by Casey Maloney. Dusty Yee handles colors with Robbie Robbins and Shawn Lee tackling lettering. So does The Last Fall rise to the occasion?
A very long war has been fought between the planets Krovin and Merkonia. Much like other wars, this one is about resources. The Merkonians have blanketed themselves in holy robes and claim that their fight is one for their God. Sergeant Marcus Fall doesn’t really buy into all of that. Marcus is the battle-hardened soldier who has lost everything and just lives to fight. When his latest mission is abandoned and deemed a suicide run, Marcus runs in headfirst and guns a’blazin. While some of the higher-ups know what is driving Marcus, most of the enlisted men see him as a hero and a symbol for their cause. Why is Marcus so eager to fight? He is a man who has lost everything, but how did he lose it?
Waltz writes a fast-paced and action-packed story. It’s a good introductory issue that lays down a lot of information about the military structure of the Merkonians. This is a war fought under religious pretenses and those in charge are appropriately priests and cleric-types. Our hero, Fall, doesn’t quite breakaway from being a character-type himself in the debut issue, but the premise and battles are interesting enough. It feels like this is a story filled with certain types of characters, Fall as the battle-hardened vet who ignores orders, the angry Lieutenant who has had enough of Fall’s antics, and the other troops who think Fall is just the best. The setting does offer up something fresh and indicates we should be going into new territory from here on out. Maloney’s art is solid. He choreographs some impressive fight sequences and brings all the gun-shootin’ and sword-slingin’ action to life. Maloney has an expressive cartoon-y style that sometimes feels at odds with the hardened, gritty, foul-mouthed soldiers we’re following. At other times the contrast works well to show the futility of it all and how Fall is the only one who accepts the war for what it really is. Things are very bright and vibrant while bodies are falling and curses are being spewed. The sci-fie elements and armors do look incredibly impressive though.
Bottom Line: The Last Fall is off to a good start, but it feels a little too familiar and safe. Waltz has never steered me wrong before, so this is definitely one worth sticking around for just to see how things play out. A good sci-fi story with some nicely drawn fights make this one that’s fun to read. 3/5
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