Fans of beautifully rendered action-adventure narratives will find a lot to love in the graphic novel series Last Man, an exciting, expansive story about a young boy, his mother, and the grizzled brawler that enters their life and changes it forever. Created by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, and Balak, this French series features outstanding fight sequences in a richly detailed fantasy environment, and First Second has been releasing English translations at a steady pace this year. The story began in a high fantasy world, but it begins to move out of that setting in later volumes, and this fall’s Last Man: The Chase (volume three) sees Adrian and Marianne Velba entering a Mad Max-esque desert as they go on the run.
This preview of The Chase highlights the rich design work, delicate line art, and explosive action that have made this series so exhilarating. These pages reveal Marianne’s destructive power when her child is threatened, and it’s nice to see Adrian’s mother assume a bigger role in the ass-kicking. First Second has also provided The A.V. Club with the cover of next spring’s Last Man: The Order (volume five), an ominous image that implies a big showdown between the book’s heroes and its mysterious villains. It’s impossible to predict what direction the plot will go in later volumes, and that element of surprise makes Last Man even more captivating.