The Last West #1 (Alterna Comics/Comixology)


Rating: 4/5 – A worthy addition to the alternate history genre.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

The Last West is an alternate history story where all technological innovation ground to a halt in the 1940s.  As entries in this genre go, Evan Young and Lou Iovino tell a really solid story here, interweaving historical incidents with fiction and building a fascinating world that’s offset from what we know but still familiar.

In the first issue we get to see the first nuclear weapons test, and the bomb just refuses to explode.  From there the story weaves back and forth between WWII era and the present, but a present day that’s not our present.  The alternate reality version of Google was a hoot-and-a-half.  Moments like that made the issue a pleasure to read.  This started life as a Kickstarter and lots more info can be had on the Kickstarter campaign page, but for people who missed the Kickastarter (like me), anyone can get their hands on the story via Comixology.

Like any good story, we need to have a point of conflict.  Here we have the mystery of what really went wrong at the Jughead Experiment (based on the real-world Trinity test) in White Sands New Mexico in 1945.  The grandson of one of the scientists on hand in White Sands is determined to get to the bottom of what went wrong and what IS wrong, even in the present day.

This is NOT an action comic.  That doesn’t mean there’s not a lot going on, but this is firmly a suspense/intrigue/mystery, not a shoot-em-up.  Don’t pick this book up expecting to see a lot of gunfights and car chases driving the action.  If, on the other hand,  you enjoy a book that lays down clues and builds a story piece by piece, clue by clue, and is driven by characters, then this is going to be right up your alley.  I’m personally a big fan of alternate history stories, especially when done right, so I’m on board for this series as the dual action moves to Pearl Harbor in 1941 while continuing the unraveling of the mystery behind what caused this alternate world to diverge from our own in the present day timeline.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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