Yesterday I was hunting through our collection of graphic novels to find something that I could write about for today, and coming up empty handed. When I asked the boyfriend what his suggestion was, he mentioned Last Man, a series of graphic novels published by First Second that a video game (Last Fight) based on the characters in it. We searched until we found the first book, The Stranger, and I cozied up to read it.
I tore through this book because even though it is about 200 pages, the focus isn’t on the words as much as it’s on the action. And since it’s a book about a tournament, there is a lot of action.
The Stranger is about a boy, Adrian, who has been very excited about the tournament. He has worked in class to learn summonings (an Avatar-esque movement that brings forth air or ground, courtesy of spirits), and been practicing his heart out. But on the day of the tournament, his partner falls ill, and since you need two to enter, Adrian has to go wait by the registration area in hopes that someone else will need a partner.
No one does, until 10 minutes after registration is closed. This man (the titular stranger) is Richard, and he is very different from the people of the town. While the town seems to be of a different time, Richard has a different view point and understanding. He doesn’t do summonings, he hits. And because of him, Adrian can enter the tournament.
The two of them do incredibly well in the tournament, at least up until the quarterfinals, where the book ends. There are some surprises in that match, and I definitely felt excited about the way the book ended, even if it is a giant cliffhanger.
This book is beyond rad. The boyfriend bought it for the art style, but the book itself is fantastic, and I’m incredibly grateful that we have two more books from the series that I can check out.
If you’re looking to read Last Man (which you totally should), you can check your local library, or over it off of Amazon here. It was created by Balak, Michaël Sanlaville, and Bastian Vivès, and I can not wait to sink my teeth into the second book.
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