Last Man Standing:
Killbook of a Bounty Hunter
All right, so, this is a really hard book to review. I almost didn’t review it because I honestly don’t know what exactly to say about it. To understand Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter you need to sort of understand the history. The book serves as a sort of ‘coffee table book‘ slash ‘art book’ for a comic series that so far has never been published. Created by Dan Luvisi it serves as sort of a crazy introduction to a main character, antagonists, allies, and future that he fully intends to develop further but felt the need to sort of preview for readers beforehand.
Apparently, the first version of this comic was published back in 2010 and has become something of a cult classic. But it’s impossible to find. Dark Horse Comics, however, is fixing that by releasing this $60 re-reprint.
It’s written as a sort of scrapbook from the point of view of Gabriel, a genetically engineered bounty hunter 600 years into our future. Originally seen as a hero he was framed for the murder of his team and imprisoned for nine years. He manages to escape, however, and teams up with shady ‘Agent O’ in an attempt to clear his name and get back at the terrorist organization that ruined his life. Of course, we don’t really get that story so much as we get snippets of like… everything.
I seriously mean everything.
The amount of world building and character design crammed into this book is actually astounding. Gabriel provides a lot of insight into various events that have occurred as well as the secondary and tertiary characters included in the book. There are tons of things included in each character’s little file – newspaper clippings, ‘buddy cards,’ threat levels, flyers, advertisements, childhood photos, etc. As you flip through the book you’ll find a lot of… interesting characters. From a cat actor who hangs out with a robotic canine to some human sized rabbit raised in Japan and plenty of other much more human characters.
Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter is an interesting case study in how a pretty dynamic story can be told in a very unusual way. I don’t know if an actual graphic novel is in the works. I’ve heard rumors that there are other books planned but I don’t know if they are proper stories or more art book style publications like this one. Luvisi is clearly not afraid to experiment so who knows. It’ll be very interesting to see what comes next. It’ll also be interesting to see what Paramount does with this property and if they ever actually make it into a movie or not.
I’m a sucker for alternative storytelling. I really am. If you do something cool and unique like this then I am totally in. Besides, the amount of detail and effort that went into this book is insane. I love that the author into so much depth to develop this world and I love that he was able to creature so much content for this book. He really has a grasp on what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. I think that says a lot about him and Last Man Standing.