Last Rebel is an anthology of sorts with stories that are centered around the character Jenny, the last rebel. It’s an apocalyptic future and Jenny is everyone’s light of hope in a dark, dark future. The first story is good, but probably the worst choice to start the issue with because it makes the character of Jenny confusing to the reader. I began to wonder if she was really going to appear in the comic because she’s just a character of lore within this first story. That and the ending was a bit strange as it seems like something did actually happen during the night, but not really. I read it a few times and it just didn’t make that much sense. I got that the mother finally bought into what the father was saying, but that didn’t explain the two panels I was confused by.
The rest of the stories take place with Jenny and her sister Grace. They roam around and stop thugs, giant swans and mutant cheetahs throughout the next three stories. Grace has a troubled past, Jenny is the perfect sister and basically the perfect human being.
There unfortunately isn’t any depth to Jenny’s character. Introducing her as lore and then explaining that she’s basically her sister’s keeper isn’t depth, it’s just parts of her character construction. Grace actually has more personality and characterization than Jenny does.
The stories are all pretty well written even though they’re by different creators. None of them really stood out as being better than the others. What really brought down the stories was the setting. Jenny is Cork City’s lone protector, but we know nothing of the city. We don’t even know if anyone knows that she’s the lone protector really. The city and other settings in the story have no personality and so the world has no personality. There really didn’t seem to be any danger and what little there was, was either animal or petty thug related. Usually I don’t care what caused the end times, but here there was a lot of attention brought to it, but zero explanation given about it. Why are there no cops or military left? What was Jenny’s background before all this? Why the hell does a family not from Cork city know of someone who only protects Cork City?
The art ranges from poor, okay to pretty good. The swan story had the best art by far. It just didn’t have a story to really back it up. If you just look at the art and skip the story it’s actually a really intense tale, but when reading the narration, it’s trying to be clever and give contrast to the images, but doesn’t quite make it. The second story was my least favorite. Its story was dull and predictable, the art was generic looking and even had some poorly drawn background figures that look like gingerbread men. It has potential to get better, but it’s not there yet and I don’t think this world is the best fit for the style.
Overall, this was a pretty basic anthology. This style isn’t too uncommon. You create one character and place them in a setting and then invite creators to create stories within the world. Sometimes you get something wonderful, but mostly you just get surface level characters and stories with twists that aren’t all the interesting due to the short amount of time you have to become interested in the story. Maybe if Jenny was a more interesting character or even a well-known character, but she’s not. It’s possible that if you just like anthologies you may get something out of this issue, but I didn’t get much out of it other than a decent story involving a swan.
Last Rebel Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Turncoat Press Price: €6.00