The Last God concludes its bloody first arc with a new group of heroes committing to face the threat of the last living god. For the last six issues, Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Riccardo Federici wove an epic and brutal fantasy world built around a lie. Thirty years in the past, a group of brave adventurers set forth to kill the god Mol Ulhtep and his eldritch Flowering Dead. They told the world they succeeded, and became the rulers and leaders of their respective countries and people as a result. However, as we learned in the first issue, these heroes lied about Mol Ulhtep and their leader Tyr became the draconic avatar of a new wave of the Flowering Dead.
What sets The Last God apart from other fantasy comics is that it carefully balances world-building and plot without continuous lore dumps. Perfectly positioned flashbacks have filled out the world, showcasing origins of the "heroes" who failed the world and detailing their perilous journey to the Black Stairs, the home of Mol Ulhtep. While Tyr and his companions were never exactly "pure," these flashbacks portray them as friends and lovers, a far cry from the embittered rulers now scrambling to stay ahead of the Flowering Dead. Comparing the past and present versions of Tyr and his "friends" are perhaps the most striking example of the corruption that seems to seep into every part of the world of Cain Annun.
Although some of that corruption comes from the threat of the Flowering Dead, a more serious threat to this world are the lies and secrets on which it is built. The discovery of secrets usually comes with a terrible cost for our heroes, whether it's the return of the Flowering Dead or the heroes Eyvindr and Valko choosing to destroy the foul source of the Eldritch Guild's power, thus robbing the world of its best chance to drive the Flowering Dead back. Every moral decision seems to come with a terrible cost, one created by the lies and failings of the last generation.
The Last God asks a poignant question relevant for today: Can future generations survive in a world corrupted by their parents and elders? While the Flowering Dead are certainly a more immediate threat than, say, global warming, it's hard not to see The Last God as a cautionary tale—a warning that the sins of the father eventually return to haunt his children.
Not only does The Last God warn about the inevitable consequences of past actions, it also questions whether following in the steps of our elders possesses any chance of success. For six issues, we've seen the fallout of Tyr and his companion's choices, leaving Cain Annun on the brink of ruin. Yet Eyvindr forms a new fellowship at the end of this issue, promising to follow in Tyr's footsteps and finish his quests. It's a shaky fellowship at best, especially as the last of Tyr's companions still holds a potentially ruinous secret.
The Last God is a tale of the past and the present, and the choices that connects them. The comic wonders aloud whether a society built upon a flawed premise can survive in the face of adversity, or if it's better to burn it all down and start again. We don't know the answer to that question yet, but The Last God has become a painfully pertinent comic for readers in this moment, even with so many otherworldly and fantastical features.
Published by DC Comics
On March 25, 2020
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by Riccardo Federici
Colors by Arif Prianto, Allen Passalaqua, and Sunny Gho0comments
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover by Kai Carpenter
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.