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‘Lastman: Book 1’ (review)

Written by Bastien Vivès & Balak
Art 
by Michaël Sanlaville
Published by Image Comics / Skybound

 

I will not mince words, Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville & Balak’s Last Man series is a masterpiece.

Having no familiarity with their work, I approached this book with great apprehension, and to be truthful was the last book that I read on my pull list this week because, with its quirky and straightforward art and colors, I just thought this book was not for me.

Hence the age-old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Lastman is French manga series written by Bastien Vivès & Balak that has thrilled French audiences for many years.

Skybound has brought the sequel to the American market, where it will be published in its entirety for the first time.

Lastman was initially published in 12 volumes between 2013 and 2019.

However, First Second Book, the company that initially purchased the U.S. rights to the series, published the first six volumes.

Skybound will begin publishing the complete series this fall in revised translations.

The premise of Lastman is simple.

Adrian Velba has trained all year to fight in the Valley of the Kings’ legendary tournament in a mystical, far-off world.

However, despite his ambition, he has no chance of winning. Not only is his partner unable to compete, but at 12 years old, Adrian is the longest of long shots. That is, until a mysterious, powerful stranger enters town, offering to join forces with Adrian. But who is Richard Aldana? And why does he rely solely on his fists in a world of magic?

This series is the most fun I have had reading a translated foreign language manga in ages.

Vivès & Balak capture all the energy and enthusiasm of any Japanese manga and infuse it with wit and energy that is indeed all of their own. I enjoyed this series so much that I ran out and brought the six volumes already available through First Second Publishing; however, if you are a patient, wait for the Skybound editions, which will be remastered and colorized.

5 out of 5 stars.

 

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