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The Last Fall #1

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By Tom Waltz, Casey Maloney & Dusty Lee

A science fiction comic done by the lead writer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; sounds promising right? Sadly, this debut issue falls short of its expectations. The story revolves around a holy war between neighboring planets, which began over a necessity for natural resources. Sergeant Marcus Fall, a skilled soldier in the war, has lost his family and is out for revenge…

The premise of the holy war clearly mirrors real-world current events. Implementing social and political relevance usually elevates the material, but that can’t be a book’s saving grace. The majority of the comic demonstrates Marcus Fall’s militaristic prowess, but it was too far-fetched, even for this medium. One man takes down a whole enemy unit and his did not have any casualties, seriously?! Far too cliche. Also, the dialogue did not add any depth to the imagery until the last three pages. In these closing moments, Tom Waltz writes the elegant prose he has similarly produced in TMNT.  These last three pages exemplify how this entire issue should have been done.

The art has similar problems. The character designs and environments are uninteresting. One panel does stick out though; Marcus wakes up from a dream and it is depicted as a frame shot with a fish-eye lens. Colorist Dusty Lee breathes as much life into the work as possible. Again, the work at the end of the comic is stunning. The color palette used for the night sky of the foreign planet was pitch perfect.

This was such a missed opportunity… Waltz and the art team seem to have hit their stride in the closing panels, perhaps the next issue will be a step-up. It’s worth a shot to see if issue  two continues the upward trend.

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