The Last God #5 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Writer; Riccardo Federici, Artist; Mat Lopes, Arif Prianto, Sunny Gho, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The scale of The Last God eclipses almost anything else at DC, and that’s both this book’s biggest strength and at times its biggest weakness. The Last God #5 takes place almost entirely within the massive spire that holds the secrets to the plague of the Flowering Dead, and continues to split its story between the two timelines.
In the past, the heroes seek out answers as to the source of the plague, while in the present day the refugees flee for their lives and bicker among themselves about who’s to blame. There are so many subplots and so many character dynamics within the two timelines that it’s a little hard to keep track between the two, but the writing is top-notch. Johnson’s carefully-plotted out world has its own social dynamics and own bigotries that take a little figuring out, but that’s one of the strengths of dropping into such a fully-formed world midway through the story.
The real meat of The Last God #5, though, and the strongest segments, are a series of stunningly drawn flashbacks from the Age of Gods, when the creators of the world lived in an untamed world cast in red long before the time of man. These segments reveal a tale of ancient gods, horrible proto-beings, and wars between all-powerful beings that shatter worlds and leave a terrifying legacy. The interesting thing about this world is that it’s a high-fantasy veneer over a core of pure unvarnished horror. The human main characters are essentially playthings in a war that’s been raging far longer than their kind has existed, and now it’s turning hot again.
The stunning visuals are still here, but the flashbacks are fascinating in their abstract horror. You can barely make out what’s going on at times, and I think that’s the point. Our human eyes aren’t meant to understand fully, and that makes this a sometimes puzzling but always fascinating read.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.