There have been good comic adaptations of video games and there have been bad ones. The Last of Us: American Dreams possibly landed in the Hemmingway category of comic adaptations. Issue four of the series is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone, if you don’t mind some sailor style cursing.
Here more of the main story elements of the game are brought closer to this prequel story. This final issue depicts the first meeting between Ellie and members of the resistance cell known as the Fireflies. In contrast to the game, conflict here is more intimate but there’s a clear sense of danger and emotion permeating every page. Fans who have played the game and read the first couple of issues think they know how this story will end. Luckily, Druckman and Hicks craft an unexpected ending that makes sense and leaves the larger looming problems of the world afoot for the game. My one complaint, somehow Ellie became even more endearing a character, making the wait for more of The Last of Us in any form, excruciating.
Faith Erin Hicks expressive cartoony art style was a weird departure from the gloom and doom world of The Last of Us video game. It took a second look to really appreciate just how the Scott-Pilgrim like explosive art could still convey the somber nature of this universe. Issue four continues find it’s own place in that mood, the characters are expressive and when combined with Rosenberg’s spot on color work it makes for a beautiful and devastating look.
American Dreams went for better than gold and stuck its landing perfectly. This has been an amazing series that should be praised for the bold move of experimenting outside the lines of its uber popular source material.
9 out of 10 Phenomenal! Dark Horse just sold even more copies of this game.