Last of the Irin #1
Writer: Robert McMillan
The perspective that magic is only a more evolved form of science has been around for a while now. Last of Irin leans on that concept heavily in order to present us an exciting new view over Judeo-Christian deities telling us the story of a intergalactic family feud between two brothers, known to us, today, as the God and the Devil.
The Last of the Irin opens with a concubine being prepped for presentation for a god known as Marduk, son of Baal. Turns out a virus was sent from an inside conspiracy, by Satan. We cut to Earth, present day, where we meet our protagonist. Anahita, a teenage girl who suffers from a rare condition with no known cure. Anahita is later appointed, by the same Satan guy, as the last descendant of Yahweh’s who would be able to stand against Baal’s rule.
Although the plot bears incredibly interesting and innovative lore it fails in some aspects. For this reviewer, what was most bothering was not how intricate the lore and background of this world was, but how the writing failed to deliver us the proper information at the proper pace. Much of it is not told at all and then suddenly there are lots of exposition. The timelines get a bit messy and hard to understand because of that fact. However, this first chapter’s closure gives the impression that the next two issues will deal with future events in Anahita’s story. That leads me to what is probably the best aspect of this comic. Anahita’s character is charismatic and it feels great to see the meek teenager turn into a strong woman once she starts to act upon her inheritance.
Being only an amateur when talking about art, this book was hard to analyze and review in that aspect. At first I thought maybe my problem was mostly on close up shots of characters’ faces and wider, establishing shots were the book’s highlights. But there are some really great closeups as well as some weird looking environmental panels. Now, I got it: it’s a lighting/shading problem. The line art looks pretty nice on poorly lit scenes, warmer colors do wonders to it, the opening scene’s artwork is downright amazing. It does not work so well on well-lit panels or panels where there is a strong focus of cold light on a character, as in a computer monitor or under a full moon. This shift in color palette, despite being great for making it clear to the reader the setting we’re following just changed (similar to what Mitch Gerads does in Mr. Miracle) brings the read to a hard halt due to the artwork suddenly looking odd. One compliment that can be surely be made about the artwork is that the character designs are pretty cool. They all look quite human but there is a well-measured amalgamation between what we would expect from a scientific advanced civilization, a more rural one.
The first chapter reads fine for someone with enough interest in sci-fi and fantasy alike. Yet, unfortunately, it shows its flaws quite clearly, even for the newbie comic reader. This comic bares unimaginable potential. I see, somewhere under the poorly explained hierarchy and systems of power, a new epic to be told and with a very well written female protagonist nonetheless! I hope, with all my heart, the creative team takes a step back and ponders on what should have the spotlight and on how to carry Anahita’s story above all of the intricate mythology, which is always nice to have, but not easily done.