Samurai Fantasy With A Cowboy Cliffhanger: The Last Siege #1

by Brendan M. Allen

A tale of blood, desperation, and loss. New York Times bestselling author Landry Q. Walker joins artist Justin Greenwood for an all-new ongoing series, The Last Siege! Spaghetti Western storytelling meets Game of Thrones atmosphere in this gritty medieval war story, as a mysterious stranger arrives at a castle overrun with brutal soldiers bent on usurping the throne of the rightful heir—an 11-year-old girl. An action-packed, genre-twisting epic, The Last Siege begins!

In the aftermath of a long and costly war, the Usurper is divvying up the spoils among his loyal knights. One of the remaining castles has apparently been assigned to this “Feist” fellow. Feist is cruel and hard, and the way he’ll be assuming control is by marrying an underage girl who is the last of her bloodline and the heiress to the castle. Everything’s moving along smoothly, until a stranger from the East pops in and everything goes sideways.

Landry Q. Walker backs way off the exposition in this opening chapter. The first five pages are completely wordless, allowing Justin Greenwood and Eric Jones to set the tone for the rest of the book. Greenwood’s gritty, heavily textured linework play well with Jones’ miserable, muted palette to create an aesthetic of absolute despair.

The story itself is pretty standard fare for all three of the genres The Last Siege calls on, at least the three I recognized. There are elements of Spaghetti Western and fantasy, for sure, but I also picked up some samurai themes and imagery. Those are katana, yeah? Mysterious stranger walks into town, stirs some crap up, big fight scene, cowboy cliffhanger, fade to black, see you next month.

The Last Siege #1 is a solid setup issue. The setting and characters are interesting and the final reveal is a doozy. First issue pacing can be rough. Background and exposition can slow the story way down to the point where barely anything is actually happening by the final sequence. If anything, this chapter flies by just a touch too quickly.

The Last Siege #1, published by Image Comics, released on the 30th of May 2018. Written by Landry Q. Walker, artwork and cover by Justin Greenwood, colored by Eric Jones, lettered by Patrick Brosseau, variant cover available by Nick Dragotta.

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