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Original Origin

By August Mack, author of Project Redemption

Sep 23, 2011: Last Skull is a story well worth your time. Essentially, it’s a tale of a girl named Sue Daysdale who discovers that she’s part of a long lineage of super heroes. She finds this kind of shocking at first (wonder why), but she quickly grows into the roll. Along with the help of her old, school-of-hard-knocks mentor Sumerset, she gradually develops as a character, to the point where she can take on her family’s arch-nemesis, Scourge.

The series is split into two books. Book One is fantastic. It is essentially an origin story, but as someone who has read more comic books than is healthy, I can tell you that it’s more original than you’d expect. There are a lot of surprises throughout and Mr. Rodgers really captures the voice of Sue well. She’s wonderfully sarcastic, in over her head, but not nearly as angsty as Spider-Man (I love you, Spidey, but really. You’ve got super powers. Stop your whining.) I think the only time Book One falters is during Sumerset’s lines. Sometimes, he spoke in a way that reminded me more of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and less of, y’know, old people.

Book Two unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to the strength of Book One. Sue Daysdale is still the center of the story, but her personality seems to become less important as the greater Skullverse is revealed. Every moment there seems to be another calamitous event which only the Skull can stop, and if she doesn’t everything is doomed. Basically, everything feels so hyperbolized, it’s difficult to get excited. It’s fun in its own way, but I miss the smaller moments, where Sue was just some sarcastic teenager who was in over her head.

That said, this really is a fun read that I’d recommend to anyone with an interest in super heroes, or even just looking for a good first-person female protagonist. Like I said, Daysdale’s perspective is the highlight of the series and that perspective alone makes it worth the read.

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