The Last of Us: American Dreams #2 of 4
Writers: Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks
Artist: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: Dark Horse
On Sale Date: May 29, 2013
With the Last of Us video game coming out later this year, Dark Horse is publishing this mini-series to tie in with the game. Following Ellie and her new companion Riley, American Dreams gives a look into their infected world and how to grow up in it. Riley is determined to break the cycle and is refusing to be recruited by the army at sixteen, while Ellie just wants to be a kid. This series’ central theme is the difficult task of trying to have a childhood in a post-apocalyptic world.
I really enjoyed reading this comic from a child’s point of view. I usually see zombie stories take the perspective of an adult or family, but never the child specifically. Being able to see the crumbling world from their eyes was an excellent choice on the writers’ part. The artist, Faith Erin Hicks, also beautifully executed this issue’s setting, an ordinary shopping mall, and turned it into a decrepit, eerie place.
The Last of Us: American Dreams did an excellent job of making this issue morbidly bittersweet. Ellie and Riley come across an abandoned arcade on the way to see Riley’s friend Winston. Ellie becomes excited as they stumble across the old games that are there, but is reminded by Riley’s bitterness that those recreations are long forgotten. The writing did an admirable job of showing Ellie and Riley struggling to be kids and how fast they were pushed to grow up. I’m curious to see how their friendship concludes at the end of the series. Riley is definitely the determined, dominant of the two; I have a feeling she may be betraying Ellie at some point. I guess we’ll find out soon enough! Giving The Last of Us 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Chew #34 (Bad Apples, part 4 of 5)
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
On Sale Date: May 29, 2013
I read the first issue of Bad Apples and I loved it, so I decided to catch up with Chew #34 and see how this arc is going. The Vampire is determined to make Tony Chu work for him. He threatens Agent Chu that he will be given the same fate as his sister if he does not join him. Tony denies the offer, determined to hunt the vampire down and avenge his sister. Meanwhile, John and Mason are working to reveal Senator Eccles’ chicken scam. Eccles is a bromaformutare, able to turn his head into the last food he’s eaten; it was really amusing to see talking food in a suit throughout the panels of this issue.
I think John Layman planned out this arc perfectly; I am excited to see how part 5 ends. This issue didn’t have an awkward cliffhanger or leave me with an unsatisfied feeling. The story progressed and gave me enough information to satisfy until the finale. The humor and wit are still active in this issue, and I think that Rob Guillory and John Layman are a perfect team. Even though this issue was a little more on the serious side, reading John Colby and Mason’s banter added a light-hearted touch to it. I really enjoy reading Chew, and the Bad Apples mini-series is a nice vacation from the overall story. Well played, John Layman! Great story overall, and this arc is moving along nicely and naturally; giving Bad Apples 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.