The Last Siege #6
Writer: Landry Q. Walker
Artists: Justin Greenwood & Brad Simpson
Intrigue and mystery, story devices that need to be revisited differently to have a sustained effect on the reader. Revisiting a point with a new spin holds readers’ interest in a plot thread as long as it isn’t confusing. The Last Siege’s character work falters in the amount of repetitive mystery it shrouds the Stranger in. Revealed last issue, his path isn’t interesting because none of it actually matters to the current story. When talking about the Stranger, characters say “we can’t trust him” or “our dead king trusts him.” Dragging through the issue, little nuance is found in the depiction or conversations.
This chapter opens up with an invasion force from a faraway land coming up on the gates of the castle. The soldiers left to defend it take up arms, giving few conversations meant to build tension before the attack, but they fall flat. There’s a lack of emotion because there’s no investment in the characters, there’s nothing that makes the reader care about them going into battle. Don’t get me wrong, the story itself is good enough to carry on. At its core, it comes off as a conflict of aggressor vs lands defending themselves. If you’re looking for more than a simple-to-follow struggle, the short stories at the end are where to find it.
Walker has leaned on his prose ability at the end of each issue, sharing tidbits of events prior to the story’s start. The short stories are great, but they don’t inform the comic book’s events until the end of the 5th issue. This prompts re-reading those shorts to get the full picture. The shorts being a double-edged sword, I originally thought they were cool but unnecessary. Walker was using prose to add extra character work at the end of the issue, but it’s not the best for the format. Adapting these stories to the comic itself instead of just words on a page is using the medium in a better manner.
The art is what truly shines in the issue. Between the way Greenwood plays with panels and Simpson’s crispy colored battle sequences, I couldn’t choose which I enjoyed most. Greenwood seems to enjoy experimenting with panels to see how he can add dynamism to actions. It adds a gravitas to events by layering panels on top of each other. It’s as if Greenwood is stacking on physical baggage to the scene. Simpson ramps it up to the next level by capturing a sense of animation within the battle scenes. It’s as if his colors give life to Greenwood’s pencils. It’s safe to say I’ll be watching to see if they team up on another book.
Though it lacks the emotional weight, the story is a good kickback from the hefty comics typically out. Having read the rest of the series, I’m in it for the art and the story’s simplicity. It’s not a bad series, it’s just not fully fleshed out and that’s fine for a breezy read.
A quick read with enjoyable art. I'd say wait for the trade.