‘The Last Stand’ arc in Rich Carrington’s Mahoney’s series reaches it’s penultimate issue and after being impressed by the run so far I was keen to see if that trend continued.
The mismatched teams of heroes & villains had already joined forces to face the invading aliens head-on and while we start to see the pieces of their plan fit together there is still an air of doubt about which way it will go. Old rivalries are still there bubbling under the surfac too e and with ego’s being flexed throughout the whole team it’s still Mike that’s keeping things from falling apart….at least too soon.
The ego’s among the group are still on show but the shared threat of aliens is just about enough to keep them focused on taking their own part in the plan as serious as they can and the scale of the problems they face gradually comes into view as this issue continues. There are no certainties though and Rich really starts to tighten the screw as the things enter the final stages of what should be the end game for either the aliens or our hero/villain protectors.
The momentum Rich had built-up, particularly in the first half of this arc, keeps on trucking as the key battles kick-off and with us already fully invested in finding out which way it will go the surprises along the way for the core team and for us gives it all a hectic edge. The character building in the previous four issues has helped punctuate the connections between the main players but also the potential for loss that feels like a tangible element throughout The Last Stand.
Alongside this epic battle is more of the high quality art from Brian Dawson we’ve come to expect but with the stakes on show in this issue the scale feels more obvious, the characters feel more well-rounded and the enemies they face are shown to be far more imposing than they may have at first. The panel layouts help give things the energy they demand and Brian is revelling in being able to deliver a kinetic flow to the events that mean we’re ready to see how things end with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The impact the story/art combo brings to Mahoney’s has been fairly obvious from the beginning but as each issue has delivered on the potential of the one before it, the finale to The Last Stand in the sixth issue can’t come quick enough.