"The Last Hunt #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Amigo Comics
Written by Hannu Kesola & Ken Janssens
Illustrated by Paul Moore
Colored by Beth Varni
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 12th, 2017
In the year 2232, planet Earth has been reduced to little more than a warehouse. It's basically a way station for an interstellar UPS. The atmosphere is toxic, so there's no life on its surface. When the ship Ragzon makes a routine stop, the crew encounters a few scientists in bad shape and decide to help them out. This may be the last thing they'll ever do, as these folks are not who – or what – they seem.
On the surface, The Last Hunt sounds a bit like Alien. It's got several of the key components, such as a rag-tag crew aboard a beat-up spaceship. It's somewhat unfair to compare the book to one of the greatest sci-fi / horror films of all time, but it's hard not to at least mention it with the similarities that pop up. Where The Last Hunt falls short is its pacing.
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Everything in the opening paragraph of this review can be learned from the solicitation information of the book. That's the stuff you know going in. You're expecting something crazy to happen and you already know it has to do with these scientists, so it takes some of the surprise out of it. The comic spends a large chunk of time introducing each of the crew members and showing some of their relationships. This would be fine for a longer running series, but since this is a short run and we know that they're going to end up as cannon fodder sooner rather than later, it doesn't add much to the story. I found myself wondering when they were going to get to the scary bits.
I don't want to sell this book too short because when the shit eventually hits the fan, it does so in a remarkable way. There is an awesome twist that I did not see coming and it really makes me excited for the rest of the series. We know that something crazy is going to happen. It's just that it takes way too long to get there.
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The characters, although introduced and elaborated upon, don't make much of an impression. Each has some unique attributes (e.g. the blonde one, the black guy, the redhead), however, I couldn't tell you who is who at this point. This becomes even more difficult when they venture out of the ship and they're all wearing identical uniforms. They look like a bunch of scuba divers walking around.
What is disappointing are the designs for the ship, spacesuits, and other sci-fi elements. The Last Hunt takes place over two hundred years in the future. The best these folks can come up with are blocky, non-descript vehicles and buildings.
The Last Hunt shows a lot of potential. The aforementioned twist ending is something I've never seen before and I'm very curious how it works out with the rest of the series. The path to get there takes quite a while, but now that the setup has been completed, I'm hoping to jump into the rest of the book.