Image Comics Early Reviews – Heart #1 and Last of the Greats #2

Heart #1

Every few weeks on my Twitter feed I see the Saturday night discussion light up over the latest UFC pay-per-view and a lot of that discussion is lead by Blair Butler.  It’s only natural that she with artist Kevin Mellon have put together the highest profile comic so far to take on the sport that’s rocketing in popularity worldwide.  It’d be easy to rip off so many sports movies before, Rocky and Warrior focusing on an underdog making his way to that championship fight, but instead Butler has put together something much more than that.

Butler has focused on the individuals behind the fights.  By giving the main character Oren “Rooster” Redman depth, it’s not just a bloody, action focused comic.  Instead we’re thrown right into the action and after the comic pivots to see that even in victory, Oren is still empty inside.  Flashback to the beginning of how and why he started out and we get the idea that even after the two years span of training his goals and dreams haven’t exactly been met.  This is the human side of Mixed Martial Arts with a focus on what fighting brings to those warriors tumbling in the cage and whether they’re able to achieve what they’re truly after.  For Redman that’s much more than just victories.

The art of Mellon is pretty decent.  It doesn’t completely knock me out, instead it has an indie comic feel to it all.  There are some solid scenes and good poses, but overall, there’s something off about it to me.  It’s either the unfinished look or the sometimes inconsistent character design.  What’s interesting is the style works very well for the quieter scenes peppered throughout the comic.

Heart is a solid first issue overall.  At times it does capture the excitement of a MMA fight, but it’s focus is not the up and down of the action in the cage, instead it’s the desire and drive of those who put their body on the lines for our entertainment.

Writer: Blair Butler Artist: Kevin Mellon Publisher: Image Comics

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

The Last of the Greats #2

This series I know will be compared to Irredeemable, Superman: Red Son or one of the many other series looking at the benevolence and responsibility that comes with power, but Joshua Hale Fialkov has a scheming main character with Machiavellian ways.

After the defeat of the alien invasion, the world is given a demand, to submit to the Last of the Greats.  They will do as he says and he will rule over the entire world like a benevolent dictator.  And boy is he manipulative throughout it all.  He plays to the audience winning them over by performing god like miracles and showing the people only what he wants, such as scooping up an orphaned boy.

But, holy shit is he scheming through it all, even doing a pretty horrible act to what he perceives as a threat to him.  What’s funny though, and massive props to Fialkov, is I’m not sure I totally disagree with what he’s trying to achieve.  He has attempted to bring paradise to Earth, but man rejected him, so if that’s his goal, why not do it through force?  Is peace and paradise through subjugation that bad?  It’s great that by the end of the comic I was debating it all.

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov Artist: Brent Peoples Publisher: Image Comics

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

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