Review - The Last of the Greats #1

Humans need a lot of help. Yet, when we get it, we completely take it for granted and--only then--do we realize the error of our ways. What would happen though if a race of superbeings tasked with protecting the Earth were turned upon by mankind? Would they be cool with that? Upset? Vengeful? The Last of the Greats is a new comic from writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrator Brent Peeples that tackles such a scenario.

The Greats in this comic were sent to help humankind. And boy did they help. They made the world a greater place, but in exchange they made one demand: to gain control of all of the Earth's weapons and defenses. This didn't go over too well with humans, leading to a rebellion of sorts in which all the Greats were killed save one. That last one has been deemed the single hope for the humans against an extraterrestrial threat.

The Last of the Greats #1 poses some interesting questions about humility and loyalty. The humans are typically human, fine with the help until they feel it threatens their existence when they kill them, then come crawling back when they realize they do need the help. The last Great has every reason to not want to help the humans begging for his powers against the onslaught of aliens outside. There's also something special about one of the humans (Charles) sent as ambassadors who may serve a greater purpose.

The best thing about the issue is that it does a really fine job of showcasing how truly powerful these Greats were and insignificant humans are. For all that we've accomplished it seems there's always beings out there with infinitely more power, which makes you wonder why we would look a gifthorse in the mouth. Fialkov's characterization of the last Great is someone rife with quiet fury for how humans treated his siblings.

What's more, the entire narrative exposes the flaws of the human race. These flaws are what the last Great uses as motivation in seeking retribution against humans, starting with the ambassadors sent to plead for his help. He has no qualms whatsoever about toying with them as he forces them to admit their sins in killing his family.

Peeples art is a very good complement to Fialkov's writing. It's strong but not overstated and has a superhero feel without being all capes and tights. There are some scenes of gore, but Peeples doesn't overdo it, which is nice because it doesn't take away from the story.

The entire issue has a solid feel to it. It starts a great premise and the end poses an interesting twist that doesn't make the idea of the Greats protecting humans so cut and dry. The Last of the Greats #1 is slated to hit stores October 5. Interiors are below and this is a book definitely worth checking out.