Source Material is a new feature where we go through our favorite shows and movies on VRV and explore the original works that they’re based on! You’ve seen the action-packed series, so now let’s dive into the inspiration behind Mondo’s Lastman!
Before his action packed animated adventures, the character of Richard Aldana originated in a series of graphic novels. A collaborative effort between writer Balak, writer and artist Bastien Vivés, and artist Michaël Sanlaville, the Lastman series of comics was published in France from March 2013 to October 2016. Taking place a decade after the events of the animated series, this story follows an older, gruffer Aldana as he find himself transported into a Medieval-esque fantasy realm called the Valley of the Kings. There he ends up entering a combat tournament allied with a young competitor named Adrian.
Immediately, readers will notice Vivés and Sanlaville’s bold artwork. The panel layout and wispy line work make for a kinetic and adrenaline-fueled reading experience. Periodic shifts into first-person perspective and use of abstract slashes of color to indicate impacts are two examples of the visual tricks used in the graphic novels that carry over to the animated series.
The story is just as impressive with Aldana and a cast of excellent characters (some familiar and some new) woven into this epic adventure. The at first unexplained nature of Aldana’s realm hopping lends a sense of magical realism that pairs surprisingly well with the battle tournament action, familial drama, and conspiratorial intrigue of the rest of the story. Like all good comics, the words on the page are only half of the story—the visuals relay just as much narrative information as the dialog and narration.
Lastman is a stunning example of animated storytelling, and its quality makes sense when you look to the excellent comics that inspired it. Lastman the comic series is being localized by First Second Comics, and Lastman the animated series is available to watch exclusively on VRV! Read or watch one and then explore the other to deepen your appreciation of the entire Lastman mythos!