It has been nineteen years since a parasitic fungal outbreak infected and wiped out the majority of the world’s population. In Boston, one of the last remaining quarantine zones, a young girl named Ellie is being transferred to the military prep school that all orphaned teenagers must attend upon turning thirteen.
The selling point for me was the fact that Faith Erin Hicks was handling the art chores. Despite the fact that she is one of my favorite artists, I was a bit skeptical at first. I associate Hicks with lighter fare. While some of her other books (Zombies Calling, Brain Camp, Friends With Boys) delve into some darker areas, I would not go so far as to call them dark. Hicks’ art style, on the surface, just does not lend itself to that kind of storytelling.
But I was pleasantly surprised when I read The Last of Us. That wide-eyed innocence which Hicks gives all of her characters works against type here. It tricks the reader (and the characters in the story) into believing that the main character, Ellie, is not going to make it in this live-or-die world. But the script by Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks quickly establishes that this is not the case.
The first issue is a lot of setup. There is very little in the way of plot development, but the ending hints at more action and happenings in the next issue. The dialogue and development of interpersonal relationships is believable and natural. That goes a long way to making the entire scenario seem that much more real.
While I normally would not pay much attention to a video game adaptation, the solid script and the superb artwork make The Last of Us: American Dreams worth a second look.
The Last of Us: American Dreams is out now. Check out a 6 page preview here.