DC Black Label: fantasy-horror: The Last God


Published on Oct 01, 2019


When DC Black Label was announced as a direct to a mature audience, with stories of ambitious, no one expected The Last God, a fantasy horror movie that is not only built to be an epic adventure... but to make it seem like The Throne of Swords and The Lord of the Rings is a fairy tale.

The next series, THE LAST GOD: BOOK I OF THE FELLSPYRE CHRONICLES arrives in stores this October, bringing readers into the world of Cain Anuun. While the people celebrates three decades of peace and prosperity, the time in which a brave company of heroes joined together to defeat the god of darkness has become a legend. Until the people do not realize with horror that the legends do not tell the full story... since The Last God is still alive and more terrifying than ever in the 12 numbers of the writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson, the artist Riccardo Federici (Aquaman) and colorist Dean White (All-Star Batman).

Screen Rant had the opportunity to speak with Johnson in the series and the future:

First of all, this is not the kind of comic series that fans have come to expect from DC Comics. Then how do you explain that DC has chosen to publish it?

I think that it is a kind of affirmation on the part of DC that Vertigo continues in the spirit. If this makes sense... the purpose of Vertigo is to tell new stories sharp, that are not necessarily linked to these things, the superhero that you have always done. So this is an affirmation that the tradition continues.

I have to say: I do not envy the artists fantasy.


Because the fans in the middle of the fantasy could be assumed that these worlds are not so difficult to build from scratch as they should be. The Last God presents a world of classic style horror, that is certainly less well-known among fans, occasional, used to the armor and the castles shimmering. You can talk about this mix of genres?

Exactly. I think that we are all accustomed to fantastic worlds that these places are bright, lush and beautiful. And this is not [laughs]. The world of Cain Anuun is very different from that. We wanted this to be a true and epic mash-up fantasy-horror from the beginning. So, instead of a land of human hard-working and happy elves that coexist, where the elves are all sparkling, and live for ever, here we have a race of elves called the Aelva, which are a race subjugated and aboriginal. You can see some of the other races, and situations in which they are located. I wanted the racial relations between the different races more were very complicated, I wanted to stay away from the topoi and generic. I wanted the races and the classes were quite familiar to the players of the table games and the people who really want more Tolkien and things like that, to feel reasonably at ease. But also to subvert every thing they have ever known. Then they will see the familiar things, but they are not what they are accustomed to in any case.

In an interview you said that unlike many other worlds of fantasy, Cain Anuun not seem a FUN place in which to live or exist. How do you create a world that you want to explore, but then ugly and destroyed at the same time?

Oh, for me there is no challenge there [Laughs]. This is a series that I wanted to read for a very, very long time. A true mash-up horror-fantasy that is all-in on both sides. The fantasy genre is this place of crowds where you can do anything, you can simply ride a thought of crowds for as long as you want. Which makes it perfect for the horror which numbs the mind. I have always wanted to see him, you know?... I wanted to see King's Landing just razed to the ground, and all the rest. I want to see the Necromancer of the Middle Ground that tries to resurrect a dragon-zombie, I want to see this stuff pushed over and to see it become really dark. I feel that the two kinds just begging to be put together.

I suppose that is a type of product in which the features of the Black Label, a true label,”mature”, they help...

Yes totally. This would never work as a simple DC comic, for example with The Legion of Super-Heroes. This is not the same thing [laughs]. DC is really forward-looking with this comic, it is fantastic that they are still willing to do a volume in the style of the Vertigo, and that we should put the DC name. I love the fact that they are still doing it, they're still doing the work of the creator, I love to be a part of it. If you are not a Vertigo, this is definitely a Black Label. Have you seen the art is... disgusting [laughs]. It is so incredibly beautiful, but also very graphic. And also the language. I would have seemed very inauthentic if they had talked in a nice way. So I want that the slaves speak as slaves, and the soldiers speak like soldiers, I want to be able to do that. I want to that a human being is capable of saying an insult racial against an elf, and vice versa, and all the rest. These things make it seem this world alive, muddy and really bad.

I know that I was fond of the premise is not only the idea of characters who grow in the shadow of these legendary heroes, but the inclusion of a secret left. It is part of a shot of the scene that is partially revealed quickly, but that feeling remains in the history?

You. Well, let's start to see the world through the eyes of this slave who grew up on the stories of King Tyr, the Godslayer. From when he was born, Tyr was the king, and Tyr is the man who literally walked from the emptiness of the world towards the vacuum and has killed God with an axe, fucking, pardon my language. He is Conan, you know. Is the larger type and more hard-core than ever. Grew up with stories of heroism such as those of king Arthur and wants to be Tyr. It is only a slave and becomes a gladiator because he wants to be like his boss, be like the king. Then fights in the arena in the hope that one day he will win his freedom and join the army of Tyr, will be released and will do great things, will do great works.

At the end of no. 1 we have a sort of clue that, “Oh, these stories were all lies.” The story of Frodo and Bilbo, it's all a lie. We've been lied to all, in reality, have not done what they have said and the bad guys are back again. What happens then? What happens when the greatest heroes in the history of the world we were lied to and now we're even more screwed? Now we have even more of those heroes that protect us. See this company get together and try to redeem the sins of the fathers. In the meantime, trying to solve the mystery of what really happened at The Black Stair the first time.

It seems an idea to frame the story: the glorious victory of the past it may have been just a kind of thing that worked only because the world was watching it happen.

You. Without saying too much, yes. They arrived there and what they thought that they would have done, they realized that would not work. Then do this other thing. Think that is enough, and then the day comes when they discover that it was not enough... and now you've condemned the whole world [Laughs]. Another company has to do what their fathers did.

When you see the title of this series, THE LAST GOD: BOOK I OF THE FELLSPYRE CHRONICLES, you know that this story is the largest of the 12 numbers coming up. I know you can't say what the future holds, but for fans of the fantasy in particular, there is a general plan for the story, or an ending connected to the beginning.

Yes, the lens is definitely the one. This will be a series of 12 numbers, point and just. This is the first book of The Fellspyre Chronicles. If this is a success, if readers want to see more of, what I hope, will tell another story in this world. But there will not be a cliffhanger where... Boom, they lose again! Now we have to do it again from the beginning with another generation! It will not be that kind of thing. There is a plan, we know what we will do and it will be extremely satisfactory. If the fans want more, narrate another arc that took place before or after the events of this story in this world. There is definitely enough material for more books of The Fellspyre Chronicles. But there are tricks to make it happen.

The Last God #1 arrives in comic shops on 30 October 2019.

DC Black Label: the fantasy-horror The Last God is




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