Last Contract #2 Review

Posted February 10, 2016 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Ed Brisson

Art by: Lisandro Estherren

Publisher: BOOM!

I’m honestly surprised at how much I’m enjoying Last Contract. It’s not the type of book I’m usually super into, considering that it’s pretty much just a very simple crime story. Not that I don’t enjoy that particular genre (I do), I just tend to be looking for a little bit more depth than what’s present here. But sometimes, all a book needs is to tell an engaging story, and craft characters that are just a little bit more than bland, overused cliches.

Last Contract, in its simplest form, is a crime thriller. It follows the main characters as they attempt to figure out why they have targets on their backs – not exactly groundbreaking. The book doesn’t really do much to differentiate itself either. There’s no gimmick here, and in a sense, I think it’s better for it. It’s raw, and doesn’t mess around with anything too silly. The gimmick is that there isn’t one, and that’s impressive.

What has me hooked is that the plot is fundamentally interesting. Writer Ed Brisson does a great job of building suspense, largely by withholding information. There’s no omnipotent narrator here, so the reader knows about as much as the characters (maybe a little bit more in this issue). It’s a fascinating dynamic, since as the characters learn new tidbits of information, so does the reader.

The art is also pretty interesting. I will admit, I’m not the biggest fan of what Lisandro Estherren is doing here. It’s almost too abstract for me – human figures are distorted in such a way that I don’t think it’s aesthetically pleasing. However, it’s serving a purpose, and for that reason, I admire it. The exaggerated and distorted figures establish a tone, so it’s definitely not just being done for shock value. Or, I assume as much, at any rate.

What I do really like about the art is that it looks dirty. This goes back to what I said about it capturing a tone. The art makes the book feel grimy and raw, and that gels perfectly with the writing. In fact, I think it informs the writing, and overall just adds an entirely new dimension to the book. The colors (courtesy of Niko Guardia) do a lot to further the work being done by Estherren.

Look, Last Contract is definitely not perfect. There’s not a ton of character depth here, but the characters are interesting enough that I want to follow their story. The real driving force behind the book, however, is the plot, and the suspense that is built around that plot. So there is a lot to like here, and if you’re looking for a solid crime book, this may be something worth checking out.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.