Last Musketeer, The
Art by: Jason
First published: 2007
If there’s one thing that we don’t like about Jason’s body of work, it’s that there simply isn’t enough of it, and it doesn’t last long enough. The Last Musketeer is a case in point – it’s a truly wonderful story, perhaps Jason’s finest to date, but you’ll have read it in half an hour.
Jason has proved himself a master of comic mash-ups. He takes an element or two of classic popular culture, adds his own talking-animal spin with a dash of the bizarre, and creates something that’s a joy to behold.
The Last Musketeer riffs off Alexandre Dumas‘s famous musketeers, but is (and this is the bizarre part) set 400 years in their future. Athos is the only musketeer left living the dream, though his reality sees him as little more than a local drunk, whose time has been and gone. In the modern world, there’s nothing left for him except to try to earn his next drink by recounting his exploits. When fireballs from outer space rain down on France, however, and Athos stumbles upon the beginnings of an alien invasion (styled straight out of Flash Gordon), he sees an opportunity to recapture his former glories and become a hero again.
Jason charges his characters with human frailty, with a superb eye for the flaws that add flesh to his well-known stereotypes. His dialogue is clean and pared to the bone, except for that of Athos, whose purple prose reveals his age, previous status as royal guardian, and is played for laughs to near perfection.
It’s a heartwarming adventure story. Jason fans will know what to expect and lap it up – it’s a corker. Those unfamiliar with his work will find this a great place to start – just be prepared for the experience to be short but sweet.
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