Comics – The Last Heroes

The Last Heroes is a comic book compilation of issues #1 – 4 of Edge by Steven Grant and Gil Kane. The first three issues were released by Malibu Comics in the mid-1990s. Issue #4 was not released until this compilation in 2004. It’s a gritty, dark story with a slick, bright art style. Steven Grant writes in the Afterword, “Despite the earnest trappings, I always viewed The Last Heroes as a comedy.” Sometimes contradictions like these work but not in this case. There is an adequate vision for the project (superheroes originate in a lab but the chance of creating any new superheroes is destroyed) however the execution is lacking. First of all, nearly every superhero has a cosmetic change (hair and/or costume) in a four issue series. Not cool. I am repeatedly confused as to who is doing what. Even in the last panel. Second, in a sea of fantastic super powers, the guy taking out super heroes is doing so by shooting tiny needles from his wrist. He never once uses the laser pistol or short sword that hang at his side. He just uses the needles again and again from the first issue to the last, until someone eventually comes up with a brilliant plan to put on a suit of armor the needles can’t pierce. Lame. Finally, the story simply falls flat even when the art succeeds. The speech given at the end the series is a prime example. Mr. Ultimate looks impassioned with fist clenched, mouth wide and eyes filled with madness, but it doesn’t match his ending words, “We accept nothing short of victory, but true victory requires help. We want the best for everyone. Trust us.” No crescendo. Time to move on. Rating: 386