Well Last of Us is out now and while I haven’t played it yet (I know, I know, it’s called a budget people) I can at least take comfort in this amazing mini-series. Hell, part of me wants to finish this series before playing it, but that means waiting another month. While I enjoyed the last issue it was missing something and I could never quite place my finger on it. This issue was damn near perfect and recaptured that magic from the first issue all over again. In the last issue Riley made the “awesome” decision of going to help the Fireflies that were engaged in a shootout with the military. They stick to the roofs and come up behind the Fireflies that are pinned down. Riley wants to help them escape and so she pulls out a smoke grenade and gives it to Ellie. In the biggest “fuck it” move ever, Ellie pulls the pin and throws it giving the Fireflies the opportunity they needed. The girls cheer and draw attention to them and the soldiers open fire on them. They take off, but eventually are forced to come down from the rooftops. They regroup for a second, but the building they hide near isn’t the best choice as they also draw the attention of the infected!
The pacing for this issue was perfect. The story never dragged and yet there were moments in-between the action and running for the reader to catch their breath (the girls too), before diving into more action. Riley and Ellie have known each other for about a day at this point in the story and already their bond is very strong. To the point that when Riley is nearly bitten Ellie freaks out, but not in a typical Zombie survivor fashion of “I’m going to have to leave you or kill.” Instead her response is that of a loved one checking on an injury to make sure that the worst has not happened. Her fear is losing this person that she’s already grown attached to in a world build on loss.
The writing was very strong on this issue and the dialog was short yet perfect. Both of the girls felt like real characters; young girls that aren’t afraid to take on the world, but too inexperienced to really do it all on their own. Even when they’re sort-of-kinda rescued they don’t come across as distressed damsels, instead they look like their facing death and have a real sense of relief when they are saved…. ish.
The setting and action take center stage in this issue. The city looks stunning and huge leaving you to wonder just how safe these girls think they are wandering around on their own. The gun play has Hicks flair to it with lots of onomatopoeias like, “Krak, krak, krak” and “Vreeet.” My personal favorite was “doink” which was the sound of the smoke grenade hitting the asphalt. The infected were interesting and not exactly what I was expecting after seeing game play, but then I’ve only seen a limited amount of the infected in the game. Even still it wasn’t bad by any means.
There’s only one issue left so if you missed this series you’re kind of screwed unless you buy it digitally, what with the first issue selling so well. I would definitely recommend it even if you have played the game already since it takes place beforehand. You could wait for the trade which I think will make for a great read, but really you should just get the digital floppies. Now I’m off to rework the budget or at least distract myself from not owning the game already until I can finish reading this series.
Writers: Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks
Artist: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 6/26/13