DC’s Black Label imprint has primarily focused on big-name characters like Batman, Superman, Harley Quinn, and the Joker since debuting last year, but that changes this week with The Last God, an original fantasy story that doesn’t appear to have any connections to the larger DC Universe. Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson with art by Riccardo Federici, colorists Sunny Gho and Dean White, and letterer Steve Wands, The Last God: Book One Of The Fellspyre Chronicles takes readers to the mystical world of Cain Anuun, where the people live in peace after the death of their final malevolent deity thirty years prior.
But as is always the case in these kinds of stories, that evil entity never really died. It just disappeared for a while, waiting for the right opportunity to rise again. This exclusive preview of The Last God #1 opens by establishing an ominous tone before jumping into fantasy horror spectacle, introducing the Godslayers by showing them on the triumphant day when they accomplished the promise of their name. This is a traditional high-fantasy narrative, but it’s exceptionally executed by a creative team with a deep understanding of the genre. Johnson has put a lot of thought into developing this world, which comes into play in the book’s extensive backmatter, and the art team matches his specificity.
Federici and Gho previously worked together on Aquaman, delivering stunning underwater visuals that captured the majesty of Atlantis and the might of its warriors. With The Last God, Federici gets to build this world from the ground up, allowing even more freedom for his distinct artistic voice to shine through. The linework in these pages is richly textured, adding weight and dimension to the undead hordes and their spectral master that Gho reinforces with his colors. Federici’s action sequences are so effective because he draws musculature so well, and this excerpt’s final two-page spread reveals this skill with a gladiator match full of rippling bodies in motion. Releasing The Last God as a Black Label title shows that the publisher is invested in getting eyes on this book, and it’s very nice to see DC expand the breadth of the imprint by bringing in new genres.