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The Last Mermaid #1 Takes An Unconventional, Beautiful Journey


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A mermaid in a transforming mech suit travels across a post apocalyptic, desert Earth in search of water with a cute little pet axolotl sidekick. That’s The Last Mermaid. If that’s not enough to grab your attention, I don’t know what to tell you! It was enough to grab my attention, and once I finished the book, I was thirsty for more!

Courtesy of Image Comics. Cover art by Derek Kirk Kim

The Last Mermaid Passion Project

Derek Kirk Kim has accolades and awards, such as a Eisner, for multiple works. Even with all of that success, he took time away from comics to enter the world of animation and film making. After years of pitching stories to Disney, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network, Derek finally decided to return to comics and bring one of his favorite characters to life in The Last Mermaid #1.

The Journey of The Last Mermaid

The Last Mermaid opens in a desert apocalypse, with a lone containment unit lying half buried in sand. As we zoom in on that unit, we can see a sleeping mermaid in a tank of water. After being awakened by the cutest little axolotl, named Lottie, the mermaid is alerted to rising toxicity in the water she is in. So begins our character’s adventure, or at least the one with the most pressing matter at hand.

Courtesy of Image Comics. Art by Derek Kirk Kim.

From the moment her tank/vehicle transforms into a walking mech suit, I was all in. I like that this book really works in a cinematic fashion, where imagery and medium and wide shots drive the story. Kim is really focused on establishing the setting and the parameters in which the mermaid lives. There’s no water anywhere, and it’s imperative that she finds some, driving the action while showing us this world as she searches.

Of course the dangers of a limited water supply is pressing enough, but we get a glimpse other dangers as well. There’s a quick view of a shadowy figure stalking her. The terrain is dry and therefore unstable. Nothing is in her favor throughout this first issue with the exception of her very helpful and brave axolotl, which again, is the cutest thing ever and makes me ever so happy!

Derek Kirk Kim: Writer AND Artist

Along with the writing, Kim also handles art duties, and this is the strength of the book. As stated before, the imagery is so cinematic, which is important because dialogue is sparse in this issue, letting action and setting drive the story.

Courtesy of derekkirkkim@youtube

I instantly fell in love with the artwork. The mermaid is drawn in a way that pulls inspiration from sources like Disney and manga art styles. The colors are simple but striking. The contrast between the cool colors of the mermaid and her transforming tank contrast heavily with the warm colors of the hot desert environment around her. You can really feel the overwhelming presence of the outside world around her and while usually cold colors would represent an absence of life, the mermaids tank feels so welcoming and safe.

Everything Points To 9.5/10

I want to give it a 10 so bad because I really enjoyed reading and looking at this book! I know that we have to be patient and learn more about the mermaid’s story, but I really would have liked a smidgen of backstory. Again, I’m no fool and I know it’ll come, and it’ll will be awesome and/or heartbreaking. There wasn’t a ton of dialogue because, well, she’s alone. With the exception of talking with Lottie, there’s not much to be said. The art is beautiful. The mech containment suit is an awesome creation and the mermaid was so beautifully rendered. The book ends on quite the cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Get in on on this book while you can!

Mickey Smith
Mickey Smithhttps://poplme.co/ETtFIMLE/dash
Mickey, also known as “cellphone_wallet_keys" or C.W. Keys began his humble path to nerdom in front of a television set back in 1985. Since then, it’s been a true love of all things related to heroes and fantastic stories, whether it be movies, comic books, action figures, and video games. Mickey is the Movie Voice Guy for The Reel Study and a contributing content creator here at The Nerd Initiative.

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