REVIEW: Last Blood #1

Title: Last Blood # 1
Publisher: Rob Liefeld Productions
Creator, Writer, Illustrator: Rob Liefeld
Colors: Jay David Ramos and Juan Rodrigues
Ink Assits: Ed Tadeo
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Price: $ 15 and up
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Comments: So, what everyone wants to know is what’s it about. Unfortunately, I’m not going to tell you. This is a spoiler-free review. Without spoiling the story I can tell you if you were ever a Liefield fan in the ’90s you will not be disappointed. Rob is in the middle of an all-new renaissance, with best sellers at Marvel with Deadpool and IDW with GI Joe. Moving huge numbers on Thundercats while only contributing a cover at Dynamite. Making this the perfect time to visit his personal creations from the Extreme Universe. But if you think you are getting an Extreme Universe farewell tour you haven’t been paying attention.

Throughout Rob’s career he has created tons of new characters and Last Blood is no exception it’s a nice mix of old, new, and new ways to look at familiar faces. In the past, Rob has plotted his stories and had someone else write the dialogue. The dialogue was good and it makes you wonder why it took so long for Rob to script his own stories. The dialogue fits the characters well. This was reminiscent of when Kirby started doing his dialoguing in the Fourth World and readers got a complete view of Kirby’s vision.

There was a lot of world-building that needed to be done, Last Blood caught the old readers up to speed and explained everything a new reader would need to know to enjoy the story. The tone of the story is a little different. Most of Rob’s past work has been in a PG-13 style with a violence level that would not exceed what you would see in a standard Marvel Comic. When Youngblood launched it had to attract the same audience as X-Force for fans to feel comfortable leaving Marvel and buying an independent comic.

In Last Blood the action was intense and high octane, what Rob would call “macho”. However,  Last Blood really puts the “blood” in Last Blood, taking the violence to a Grindhouse film level. The best description of this comic without spoilers is it’s a mashup of James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino. The violence is intense and brings the comic to a rated “R” equivalent. It’s not 1990 anymore and Rob is betting that his hardcore fans have aged with him and want a comic that will appeal to more mature readers. I think this is a smart move because Rob just finished a run on Deadpool, and has Cable and Major X upcoming at Marvel. The “R” rated violence sets this apart from his Marvel work and is more in line with the upcoming Deadpool film.

With the good there is always some bad, the problem with Last Blood is getting a copy. It is an extremely collectible item. It was sold exclusively by Rob Liefield himself on his WhatNot show, which isn’t the difficulty. The difficulty is that the print run was about 300 units. Yes, you read that right. When Rob dropped the Thundercats cover orders rose from 100,000 to 170,000. If Thundercat can move 70,000 units you would think the print run on Last Blood might be a little higher than 300. If you were lucky enough to get a copy you must be an uber Liefield fan. Last Blood buyers also got everything they ever wanted in an extreme action comic.

There is an equally small supply of Last Blook Manga comics in Black, White & Red. It isn’t exactly the same comic in black & white, it has a smart use of blacks and speed lines to make a different presentation, also without the computer coloring the lines Rob uses are much more distinct. There is a look that is similar to Zipatone on the page that provides a shading effect at adds a different level of fun to the comic. The manga version is both more and less bloody at the same time.

If you missed Last Blood, all is not lost. There will be new editions with different covers as well as retailer-exclusive covers in your future.

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