Review: The Last of Us – American Dreams #4 (of 4)

The best thing about this series has been the care put into the story. It’s not just a cash in on the name, but rather a great preview leading into the game’s story. If you didn’t already want to play the game then the conclusion to the series should fix that for you. It would pompous of me to say that this is the best video game tie-in comic ever made, but it just might be. In the last issue we saw Ellie and Riley captured by the Fireflies, the very organization that Riley was seeking to find. Ellie begins to wake up and finds the bag on her head slipping off. As the two men that are supposed to be guarding her argue about their bad information on the botched mission, Ellie frees her hands and reaches for some broken glass. A voice rings out at the front of the room telling her not to bother. After a quick exchange of words between the woman that’s entered into the room and the men guarding, the woman cuts Ellie’s ropes and instructs the men to release Riley as well. The woman puts a red envelope in Ellie’s pocket and tells her to read it when she gets back to the school.

Riley chimes in saying that they’re not going back and reveals the name of the woman as Marlene the leader of the Fireflies. Their conversation is cut short as a group of smugglers break into the tunnel system. Marlene tells them to basically eat shit and they open fire. All hell breaks loose and the girls continue their pattern of doing risky stupid shit.

The Last of Us - American Dreams #4 CoverAh Marlene was the perfect addition to this story! The fact that she knows Ellie and has kept tabs on her was awesome even if it crushed Riley in the process. That’s Riley’s idol and she discovers among other things, that Ellie is more on her radar than she is. Again, she was a great addition to the story and yet another strong female character to the series. She truly made Riley and Ellie look like kids for the first time in the series.

The conclusion was very rewarding and I say that knowing that a bigger story takes place in the video game. Usually when you’re reading a story that in a way is a prequel to the main tale, you tend to get short-changed with the ending because the story has to go on. In this series the story continues, but that doesn’t mean that this mini-series didn’t deliver a very rewarding and complete story to enjoy. I’ve heard good things about the story first hand from a friend and yet these issues made me want to play the game more than anything else. Mission accomplished Dark Horse and the creative team.

The art has been fantastic throughout the series so there’s no surprise when I say that it still is in this issue. I really liked the drama of the opening page as we view Ellie lying with a bag slipping off her head on the ground. The entire page is practically black and it gives a great feeling of anxiety as we wait to see what happens next. Hicks nails the action in this issue as well. It was believable and easy to follow and that’s the most important thing about action in comics.

You still have plenty of options on how to buy this series: back issues, digitally or you could at this point wait for the trade. If you’re been following the series then please continue to buy the book since it would be foolish to miss out on the stunning conclusion. It’s been a fun ride and I will definitely miss reading this series each month now that it’s over.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks

Artist: Faith Erin Hicks

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 7/31/13