Last Sons of America #1
Author: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artists: Matthew Dow Smith
Release Date: November 11, 2015
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Review Spoilers: Mild
Last Sons of America will easily draw comparisons to Children of Men with its infertility issues, the twist here being that a biological attack of Agent Pink on American soil means that these issues are limited to the United States of America. Mother’s Plague, the North American auto-infertility syndrome that developed as a result of the attack, has pushed adoption into the forefront as Americans scramble to fill the void. This has created a market for our two main protagonists, brothers Jack and Julian Carver, to travel around acting as adoption agents.
Of course, it’s not nearly that easy. The Spanish-speaking country that they’ve ended up in is rife with corruption, between the local crime boss that they must pay off in order to operate in this region and the ‘pickers’ who simply kidnap children and take them across the border to be sold to the highest bidder their business – which they operate legally – is taking a major hit.
With muddied colors and untranslated dialogue, the first issue strives to set the mood and bring about the world in relation to the brothers. Johnson’s writing does a host of telling, rather than showing, the philosophical differences between Jack and Julian. Jack, the taller, more physically able brother, wants to side-step into ‘picking’ to keep the two of them afloat, while Julian, the shorter (for some unknown reason he can’t dress himself?) of the two, wants to have hope and faith in the process as it is.
The character artwork is a little bit rough, with Julian’s height put into questionable perspectives, as well there being little to distinguish a few of the prospective girls throughout the issue. This nearly ruins a crucial plot twist at the end of the issue, though the telegraphing throughout makes it easier to process even if you have to flip back and forth between a few of the panels and pages to compare faces.
Overall, I am enjoying the concept being brought to the table with Last Sons of America, even if I’m finding some of the plot holes glaring at the moment. The plague was so specific as to only affect American women? Even as difficult as their jobs are painted, surely there are enough people in the world willing to send their kids to America that it can’t be that difficult? I’m not sure we’ll even be exploring the plague much beyond what we already know about it, since the focus seems to be at the ground-level with Jack and Julian as footmen.
As a four part series, at least readers are bound to start getting answers sooner rather than later. The intriguing concept (immigration into America apparently appeals to me much more than immigration out of America, as I tried out BOOM!’s Americatown and could hardly finish the first issue) is enough to overlook the series’ flaws for now. I’ll be interested in seeing where issue #2 takes readers and how much of the larger world we get to explore while still following the dynamics of Jack and Julian’s brotherly bond.
Have you read the first issue of Last Sons of America? Tell us what you think in the comments!