Taarna: The Last Taarkian TPB is Heavy Metal’s latest release featuring the warrior goddess, Taarna. As a reader, I’m generally out of the loop when it comes to Heavy Metal material. However, I was instantly drawn to Taarna when I initially saw the single-issue solicitations. Upon reading this TPB, I was sucked into a world of awesome visuals, with a great action-adventure story plopped into the mix.
The story opens up with a civilization in its final hour as the sun that shines upon them is set to wipe out the galaxy as they know it. Fortunately, Taarna comes through to save the day utilizing her status as a universal protector to reignite the sun, allowing the denizens of the world to live another day. The events following introduce us to Taarna and her true nature as she floats through the ether to rejuvenate herself back at the edge of the universe. Unbeknownst to the protector of the universe, an ancient evil has resurfaced to spread its chaotic influence once again.
We are then introduced to Urcuss and his followers as they have traded in their lives to serve the god, Kako, to spread his word across the realm. Meanwhile, Taarna battles massive kaiju-like beasts that upset the balance of the universe (one of the coolest things in the project). We also meet Shaan, a member of the Sumuulians similar to Urcuss, who eventually falls prey to the demented host of Kako to lure Taarna away from her duties long enough to draw power from the beasts that roam the land. I enjoyed how the story was wrapped up utilizing Taarna and her nature being the ultimate good to battle constant evil in an endless cycle; This helps to lay the foundation for further adventures, especially with the epilogue as it was the perfect cap to the story’s events and gives us everything we need for future sequels.
The artwork throughout this series is immaculate and helped to drive this epic sword and sorcery narrative of good vs. evil. Taarna isn’t your typical warrior with a sword, but one of high cosmic function. To truly capture the essence of this grand story, the colors within had to hit home on each page, which it did without missing a beat. With every page turn, I gazed upon not just beautiful artwork but electrifying color patterns layered on top of these visuals. My absolute favorite part of the book involves Taarna riding her trusty otherworldly steed into the cosmos to reignite the sun during the early stages of the book. Gazing at this page brought me straight into the universe she inhabits, and I felt as if I watched Taarna pull off this feat from the ground below.
If you are interested in high fantasy, action, and cool adventures, then The Last Taarkian is the perfect comic to read. It’s by far the newest reader-friendly book I’ve read in quite some time, especially with a pre-established character, which says a lot. Go and check out Taarna: The Last Taarkian TPB today!