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Phillip K. Johnson Has Created A Fascinating World With The Last God

In "Reason to be Excited," I spotlight things from modern comics that I think are worth getting excited about. I mean stuff more specific than "this comic is good," ya know? More like a specific bit from a writer or artist that impressed me.

Today, I pay tribute to the extensive world-building at the hard of Phillip K. Johnson's new hit series, The Last God, from DC's Black Label.

As the say, "it takes a village" and it seems like it takes a village of people to put together the world of Cain Anuun in The Last God. Johnson is the creator of the series and the writer, but the interiors are by Riccardo Federeci and Sunny Gho, with lettering by Tom Napolitano. Then there is Steve Wands on the back matter in each issue and Jared Blando on the cartography in the comic. What other comic book series has a CARTOGRAPHER? That's how much Johnson is going all-in on the world building of this comic book and all that work pays off in how in-depth this horrific world is and why it is such a compelling world to see some heroes fight against unspeakable evil.

The concept of The Last God is a simple, but powerful one. When the series open, we see that there is a King who has been in charge for thirty years due to his heroism of getting rid of the evil "Last God" of this world...

He's not a particularly NOBLE king, but eh, it's better than the horrors that happened due to the Last God. However, by the end of the issue, we discover that the king had lied and that the Last God still lives and that's bad news for EVERYONE...

In the second issue, then, we kick off the main narrative of the series, which is a dual narrative. In the present, the survivors try to fix what their parents' generation screwed up...

While we see a flashback to what REALLY happened thirty years ago...

Sunny Gho's competing color schemes are important to the process.

There is back matter in each issue explaining the little bits of culture of this world...

And, of course, there are maps...

Johnson created such a thoroughly detailed hellscape of a world that it is almost simple, in comparison, to set his players loose upon this game field that he has created.

The dual narrative approach is a clever one and the characters, so far, have been interesting (I especially like the contrast of King Tyr from the awful present to his more heroic past), but it really is the world that has impressed me the most about this comic book series from DC's Black Label.

Okay, this feature is a bit less of a reader-interactive one, as I'm just spotlight stuff in modern comics that specifically impressed ME, but heck, if you'd like to send in some suggestions anyways, maybe you and I have the same taste! It's certainly not improbably that something you found cool would be something that I found cool, too, so feel free to send ideas to me at brianc@cbr.com!

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