By Dustin Cabeal
Like most people that are likely going to pick up this comic, I knew nothing about it going in. At the time of writing this, I believe that it’s recently announced so there might not be a ton of awareness for The Last Siege. The first thing to note is that the meaning behind the title completely escapes me, but that’s perfectly fine. Not every title needs or should be easy to decipher.
Justin Greenwood is an artistic talent that I keep tabs on. I’ve digested too much art in my life to say that I love every little bit of art he does, but when he’s on top of his game, he’s really on top of his game. Nowhere is that illustrated more (pun) than in the opening which is the artwork alone. A silent man walks with his horse towards a castle. Form the looks of it the horse is carrying a lot of materials. Are these the man’s possessions or is he a merchant of some kind? At this point Greenwood’s artwork lets us wonder before Walker’s story kicks in.
After the man reaches the town we transition from the rain to the comfort of the indoors. We quickly learn the lay of the land. The castle has lost it’s King to war, his only child, a girl, is set to be married to a cruel man that will likely give her an existence in which she’ll wish for death. It’s a bleak outlook for her. Meanwhile, our lone man heads to the local bar, because that’s what you do when you roll into town with a parched throat. He instantly runs into trouble as his look is recognizable to the shit bag that’s about to marry a child and claim the throne. That is not the end of the drama though.
Depending on the pool of stories you’re sampling from, the twists of this story aren’t entirely new or surprising. It’s still a good twist to the story that will bring at least me back for another issue. There is still a certain amount of disbelief that you’ll need to suspend. Otherwise, you’ll end up asking “what if” questions left, right and center. Even still, Walker does a great job with the pacing of the story and with trusting Greenwood to drive the story with the artwork. The parts that could be considered exposition are believable in their execution because the two characters giving all the information are racking their heads on how to deal with their predicament. One of them is sympathetic to the new Queen’s situation, while the other is more concerned about keeping his own life. Their discussion presented us with all the information we need to understand everything happening in this city.
Greenwood’s artwork is very strong. The action flows nicely and avoids confusing the reader. There are a lot of subtle inclusions that I don’t want to mention for fear of revealing too much, but they certainly add a level of mystery to the overall story. They’re not mentioned in the narration, and so the art is the only place where we can pick up clues. Again, it shows the trust Walker has for Greenwood, but furthermore, it shows Greenwood’s talent.
It’s a strong first issue. The setting is interesting and the seemingly random clues that we’re given makes it seem as if The Last Siege is set in an alternate timeline of history. Further reading is needed in order to figure out everything presented in the first issue. While the twist was predictable for me, it’s still a great twist that is sure to bring others back. I’ll be waiting for you to read it so that we can discuss it, because I desperately need someone to talk to about The Last Siege.
The Last Siege #1