The Last Fall #3 focuses a lot on Marcus as he waivers back and forth between his presence life of recovery and flashbacks to his family life without a lot of real plot.
Previously in The Last Fall #3: IDW’s original sci-fi/military drama continues! Know your enemy! A top-secret recovery mission explodes into deadly betrayal and Marcus Fall finds himself battling for his life against a most unexpected foe.
A LOT OF CONFUSION
The Last Fall #3 (of 5), has hit the shelves after some delays and it is not the greatest issue readers could hope to pick up. Writer Tom Waltz elects to spend most of the issue with Marcus Fall and his recovery as Marcus’ perception fluctuates between the present reality and memories of his past life with his family. While it’s not a terrible vehicle to deliver the narrative with the amount of delay between issues I was looking for Waltz to have gentle reminders placed throughout The Last Fall #3 to remind readers of character names and their importance.
Instead, we get a lot of ranks – the priest-major gets a scene early on in The Last Fall #3 – although we are granted a reminder of Cole’s name. Almost immediately Cole learns of Marcus Fall’s supposed death and with no evidence to support it he questions the validity of this claim. Cole is hardly a Sherlock Holmes archetype and it does feel a bit out of place on Waltz’s behalf to have the question raised. It exposes plot devices that will come up in coming issues of The Last Fall and, in the end, I fear does more damage to the issue than good.
Cole moves on through The Last Fall #3 to attempt and exert authority over Fall’s men. Rather than admit to the rivalry that existed between himself and Fall, Cole tries to force authority upon a squad of men that don’t want him to be there and it jars with some of the more emotional story points Waltz has penned between Fall and his son. In these scenes with Cole I was looking for some reminder of the planets involved in this scifi war and what the stakes are and they do not appear in-narrative.
In the end Marcus Fall comes out of his self-reflection a lot worse for wear. Where I expected Waltz to have Marcus broken and then revived by his encounters with his son – whether he actually had a conversation with his son (whose name is not once mentioned throughout their conversation), or it was a hallucination – our protagonist closes out The Last Fall #3 in a fit of tears.
This is certainly not bearing well for the two coming issues of The Last Fall and I’m not entirely sure if this particular issue was worth the wait either.
The Last Fall #3 is space opera. It is a great civil war story clearly intended to be presented on the same scale and with the same adeptness of execution as something like Saga, but it’s just not and the art by Casey Maloney is the weakest part of the issue.
Now, I’m not saying Maloney is a bad artist because that’s simply not true. Maloney’s art style is simply ill-suited to the scope and style of story The Last Fall #3. His linework and broad expressions would be much better suited for a more comedic and more personal story.
There are several points throughout The Last Fall #3 where Cole makes such cartoonishly grandiose facial expressions that he looks more like a character from the Looney Tunes than Star Wars and on the page it reads as anachronistic – out of place to the point of distraction. Again, at the end of The Last Fall #3 when Marcus Fall cries hysterically in his hospital bed, the broad linework on the page stands out in opposition to the heavy emotional material Waltz has written on the page.
Overall, the art of The Last Fall #3 stands out from the narrative, rather than serving it.
THE BOTTOM LINE: SKIP THIS FALL
Unless you are a diehard fan of the series The Last Fall #3 doesn’t have much to offer you. It’s deeply steeped in its own mythology and requires a working knowledge of everything that has come before because the narrative does nothing to bring new readers up to speed.