Superstar writer Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun, Harrow County) has joined up with star publisher Vault Comics to bring us The Last Book You’ll Ever Read #1, a horror book about the murderous effects of reading! Created by Bunn along with Leila Leiz, Graham Marchisio and Jim Campbell, can this first issue convert the masses or is it a comic best left unread?
The Last Book You’ll Ever Read tells the story of Olivia Kade, a number 1 bookselling author whose new work, Satyr, draws controversy and interest as it questions whether society is a lie and that people are still just feral beasts. However, at a signing Olivia, who is already plagued with horrifying visions, is attacked by a woman exhibiting all the signs her book speaks of. As she prepares for a tour, Olivia hires Connor to protect her as more and more people across the country begin to exhibit the behaviour of which she wrote about …
This issue is an intriguing opener to this story as Cullen Bunn keeps his cards close to his chest, creating a truly mysterious world. Chief among this mysteries is the lead character of Olivia and her ‘book’ as little is given away as to their backstory. However, due to their experiences and dialogue, Bunn hints at something greater and far more insidious that they are a part of. Meanwhile, the rest of the story and the characters are equally vague in what we see, although enough is given to make the reader ponder their connection to events and their futures in this tale.
As for the art, Leila Leiz provides an impressively solid job on the pencils, giving the last book a look similar to Colton Worley’s work on Bettie Page. However, unlike with that series, Leiz imbues enough of a variance to make this title feel very unsettling while still giving a grounded look. That said, the opening pages look a little rough compared to the rest of the title as it looks like Leiz struggled to find her footing. However, this is a minor concern given how the issue looks at the ends as well as the brutal fight scenes which, when coupled with Glada Marchisio’s eerie colours, gives those scenes a decidedly ‘Picture of Everything Else vibe.
The Last Book you’ll Ever Read #1 is a devilishly good read as Bunn, Leiz and Co. offer up an addictively mysterious comic. With an interesting concept, characters and art to kill for, if this comic is the last book you’ll ever read then you could do a lot worse!