Storm: The Last Fighter – Martin Lodewijk

This is another in a huge number of tales concerning Storm, an astronaut who returns to Earth millions of years in the future where the planet has changed into the kind of primitive world that Conan would inhabit. Naturally his outdated principles of honour and courage get him into all sorts of trouble as well as rescuing his semi damsel female companion.

It isn’t in any way postmodern, it isn’t overstuffed with twists and rug-pulls and forced one-liners. There is peril and conflict plus anger at injustice but it is lean and unpretentious. This fundamental storytelling is rare and refreshing. But the shine wears off and it turns into a very old school Dungeons and Dragons adventure.

This is the second tale in this universe but nothing on the cover tells you that. A lengthy prose introduction fills you in on everything you missed, but gives no clues as to why our protagonist is called only “Storm.” The introduction handily tells you the first book is out of print. But thanks to the internet you can find it if you are willing to pay more than the original £2.95 cover price. Although the recap is more than adequate.

The art is astounding and you can tell it is hand drawn; by British legend Don Lawrence no less. There is no cutting and pasting or texture fill here. You can see each pencil stroke in the hair of the humans, the fur of the animals, or rocks on the ground. The anatomy and musculature of the people is perfect. It’s mindboggling to think how many hours must have gone into this work.

Storm’s female friend has had her name changed from Carrots to Ember thankfully so as not to be so anachronistic. But she is held prisoner for plot reasons and does not get a chance to develop.

There are seven more books in this series (before the next cycle starts). But they are hard to find in English and you will be paying quite a lot for them second hand.

Thumbs Up!

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