Before we begin this review of The Last Sheriff, just have a think. Think of how many British comics you know.
5…4…3…2…1. OK think of a clever way to share your results. Here are mine: Judge Dredd, The Beano, Thunderbirds (published during the 60s), Captain Scarlet, Stingray and Commando. All of what you’d think as ‘British’ comics. No capes or tights, no ninja demons either. A strange mix of an idea, all of what you’d describe as British. Just like if you talked about some the weirder parts of Naruto or Bleach, sometimes you’d describe it as being Japanese.
So when the guys at Reckless Hero knocked up a comic called The Last Sheriff, you could kind of see a whole new idea on what a British comic could be.
Essentially, The Last Sheriff is a mash-up of the Western Genre, Dystopian Sci-Fi and good old-fashioned blood and guts. Follow John H. Wilson, the last of the Sheriffs, a peacekeeping force for the frontiers which have almost been wiped out by The Coalition, a powerful gang of corrupt vigilantes, who have almost taken over.
When John frees a girl from a group of thugs, he falls afoul of the local Mayor, and it’s only going to end one way. With lots of blood and laser cannons.
The story could be compared to The Raid; simple and falling back on the action. A simple story, with the most violence and action it can conjure. The art? The two Chrises, Imber and Jenkins are fond of manga, so imagine the artwork of Udon (Street Fighter comics), but with a dark shadowy palette, empathising the bright colours of an important event like augment being, or just blood.
Again, this another excellent example of how an action comic can look great when mashing it up with something. Like sprinkles on a cake! Take Western movie tropes and traipse it over a simple story of a weary hero doing the right thing.
Definitely recommended, short and simple, but it really does embrace the art. Of comic book art. Also, if the guys from Reckless Hero do read this: What is the relevance of the number 23?
You can check out The Last Sheriff directly from Reckless Hero here.