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"It's not about how it starts feeling normal.
It's about how you stop feeling helpless."
Staged around the Blood Sport / Deadly Game Reality Show of The Future, Last Res0rt features a Rogues Gallery of Condemned Contestants along with some volunteers who signed up for the ride. If they want to earn their freedom (or fame and fortune, in the case of the volunteers), they'll have to survive the season.
There's Loads and Loads of Characters, but the comic's main focus is on the show's pair of Lovely Angels: Jigsaw, a furry violinist turned vampire (the only nonhuman vampire in the galaxy, in fact), who signed up for the show to save her friend, Daisy, a Mad Scientist CEO with a robotic leg.
Several subplots brew underneath the surface of the reality show, currently centering on Jigsaw and her latent vampire nature (and the trouble that could stem from it), not to mention:
- her Overprotective Parents road-tripping across the galaxy and otherwise threatening to pull Jigsaw off the show,
- a decades-long simmering feud among the remaining members of a Magical Girl Warrior Program,
- and of course, regardless of whatever else happens, The Show Must Go On.
The comic itself is surprisingly well done, working months in advance to avoid Schedule Slip (although at a comic a week, it's arguably a little slow-paced), and more than enough ladies in prominent roles to keep passing The Bechdel Test on a regular basis.
The first few years' worth of comics have been compiled into a Trade Paperback, available here. There's also an RPG in progress, the beta of which is available though signing up for the mailing list, and contains some additional info not included in the comic itself.
Tropes featured or appearing in this work:
- Aliens Speaking English: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, since GET (Galactic English Terth) is used as a business/high-class language, with some alien languages and even a little Hebrew thrown in for flavor.
- Animal Stereotypes: Well, come on, it IS furry.
- Art Evolution: Painfully obvious, especially in the first dozen strips to the point that it's almost easier to start with the second arc instead of the first. And even more shocking is the speed of the art evolution as well -- All of the comic's evolution has taken place within two years.
- Badass Boast: Slick pulls off a rare post ass-kicking boast, although part of it is thanks to having to first deal with a Combat Pragmatist who wouldn't have let him get away with it if she were still alive.
- Bilingual Bonus: There's an awful lot of Gratuituous Hebrew and Yiddish as a Second Language going on, and at least one major secret concealed by it. (We won't spoil it for you, but y'know how Jigsaw refers to Daisy as Kvaterin sometimes?)
- Blood Sport
- Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: Sunny is a "dog". With metallic legs and a mane.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Having Loads and Loads of Races helps keep people straight, but so does the number of variants within each species (especially noticable between all the Talmi characters)! While the arena crowds may be Faceless Masses, the only two characters you MIGHT mix up are Vince and Nate (although that's getting better thanks to adding on Nate's new eyepiece).
- Church of Happyology: The Endless, they've even got a Star Org.
- Combat Medic: Dr. Qin Xu, as well as (current) Scout Arael.
- Condemned Contestant: Lots of 'em, really.
- Crap Saccharine World: Our players are condemned criminals and a few of their new friends on a deadly Reality Show where their every move is recorded 24/7, with aliens that have a Compelling Voice as a standard feature, and the protagonist's lieutenant was not only tortured into coming on the show, pictures of her torture (and the audio confessions thereof) are plastered on the news... oh, and like 90% of the cast is either furry, female, or otherwise cuddleworthy.
- The Chick: Actually one of the male cast members, Slick Giovanni.
- Cyberpunk: The plot is punky, the setting is less so; the technicolor palette and furry population aren't standard fare, that's for sure. Given how many Cyberpunk works are the same Recycled Script, ANY deviation from that is going to be "unusual".
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Dead Inside are "supposed" to be evil according to the Celeste, but we've not seen proof of that in the story. See also Light Is Not Good below.
- Deader Than Dead: Complete with in comic references to the Chunky Salsa Rule. Lampshaded in Shout Box discussion as "Dead to the Nth Degree".
- Deadly Game
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Adharia Kuvoe
- Even Evil Has Standards: There's two standards, actually.
- Among the contestants, the only criminals shown as being wholly beyond redemption (so far) are Geisha and Arikos. What exactly do they have in common (besides ridiculous body counts)? Both their crimes involved rape.
- Geisha and Arikos' being beyond redemption (or at least appearing to be) doesn't seem to be as much because their crimes involved rape as it seems to be because, if given a chance to go back in time and do it all over again, they appear to be the only two criminal contestants who would behave in exactly the same way they did the first time. They don't get why people consider what they did to be wrong and without that understanding, they can't be redeemed.
- Even Veled seems to have standards, with a special axe to grind against the Star Org.
- Expy: Jigsaw seems to resemble Ratchet. Whether it's a coincidence or a deliberate Homage is not known.
- Four Is Death: The number four repeats itself a LOT in Last Res0rt. Sixteen contestants with Four of those being Executioners, four teams of four contestants, four members of the Vaeo Family, four members of the Forte Family, not counting Jigsaw... and speaking of "Four"-te...
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Used in a bonus segment.
- Furry Comic
- The Future
- Genre Busting: It's a sci-fi vampire Furry Comic about a Deadly Game Reality Show, with some supernatural elements, a Magical Girl squad, and even a little Coming of Age (well, coming of vampire age) thrown in for good measure.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Part of the fun in reading the story is trying to figure out which is which. Even Adharia, who should have the cleanest hands of the lot, is in cahoots with Veled!
- Hand or Object Underwear: Jason has been "convinced" to remove his clothes.
- Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action - The Celeste's gimmick in a nutshell.
- To wit: Species can't crossbreed with each other, but they can crossbreed with a Celeste (regardless of which species the Celeste is made out of), and produce a viable Hybrid Monster from that.
- In Arikos's Backstory, it's revealed that he's had dozens of children... with Talmi women. Y'know, Jigsaw's species.
- Hybrid Monster: What comes out of all that Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action with the Celeste.
- I Am Who??: Jigsaw doesn't even figure out she's a vampire until about eighty pages in. Of course, Veled tops this when telling her that she's not only the only known non-human vampire in the galaxy, but that this is supposed to be a sign of a massive Apocalypse about to occur.
- Iconic Logo: Y'know that little splotch with the cute skull motif on it? It's called "Cha0s".
- Improbably-Female Cast: Currently the story consists of: a powerful vampire girl, female mad scientist/genius ex-con, female centaur warrior princess lesbian, huge four winged super powered planetary military leader woman, among others... while the males are fewer and generally ditzier/shallower/less important than the females. Possibly because the creator is also female.
- White Noise is the obvious choice for a male protagonist, Arikos and Geisha have been played up as quite evil (despite the fact we haven't seen them since, oh, Page 60-ish, though that may just be a case of them being out of the spotlight), etc. There's not a real shortage of men, just a shortage of male main characters.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Zombie Jigsaw!
- Intelligent Gerbil: Many, many, MANY of the 'alien' species.
- Invisible Aliens: It is revealed that there are laws against interfering with developing civilizations and limitations on interacting with them. Adharia is from such a planet, and (with help from Veled) volunteered to compete on Last Resort so she could ascend her kingdom's throne.
- I Was Told There Would Be Cake: Referenced in this page.
Melody: Since when did YOU love surprises? I didn't even bring a cake.
- James Bondage
- Jedi Mind Trick: Jigsaw figures out that her ability to read minds and speak telepathically also allows her to give people suggestions; it's probably not as effective as the fabled Jedi Mind Trick should be, but it works.
- Large and In Charge: Veled in a nutshell.
- Light Is Not Good: One of the two Celeste we've seen so far is a mass mass murderer, and the cast is dead scared of the other).
- We've seen three more Celeste since then (not counting "Touched"): a lawyer, a Ministry of Joy official, and an idiotic kid who threatened an efreet with an Aerosol Flamethrower.
- The RPG in development goes further: when the Celeste found earth/Terth they tried to tone humanity, and we only survived because of Terth's massive population of Dead Inside.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!: Y'know, for a comic that calls itself furry, it's sorta odd that half of the players on the Excutioner's teams are humans... Except two of those humans are Dead Inside (including a Vampire), and Daisy's also a light child to boot.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Loads and Loads of Races: Closely related to the Loads and Loads of Characters. Then again, it IS an intergalactic event here...
- Lovely Angels: Jigsaw & Daisy of Team Andromeda. Course, they're not the only characters around, either...
- Mistaken For Lesbians: Jigsaw and Adharia, especailly after Jigsaw's caught feeding on her.
- This said, Adharia is most definitely Not Mistaken.
- Mismatched Eyes: Sudoku's got 'em.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Well, sort of.
- Reptilian creatures (Zillans, Vidians, Kendrils) don't have them as far as we know -- Cypress is utterly flat, at least.
- However, if Veled's any indication, being a Celeste who's part-reptile means you can have these.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Dr. Daisy Archanis, not that she gets treated with any respect for it. Dr. Qin Xu, however, is That Kind of Doctor, and it's not like he's treated any better because of it either. Maybe respect is just in short supply?
- Not Using the Z Word: Jigsaw refuses to say the word furries!
- Not What It Looks Like: After Jigsaw's caught feeding on Addy, the Vaeo Family immediately assumes Jigsaw and Addy are in a relationship... of course, since Jigsaw can't just say she's a vampire, she's forced into a Sure, Let's Go with That situation.
- One-Hour Work Week: Well, one hour broadcasted live each week, anyway; the rest of the time is implied to be recorded for security feeds and Pay-Per-View content.
- Our Genies Are Different: Practically In Name Only compared to the wish-granting, lamp-residing kind.
- Our Souls Are Different: Closely related to Our Vampires Are Different, but also notable in its own right as it seems to imply that souls are a new energy type.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Jigsaw's whole plot seems to revolve around this.
- Overprotective Dad
- Peek-a-Bangs: Daisy Archanis, specifically. Adharia's started showing signs of this as well.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Veled.
- Power Incontinence: Jigsaw suffers from this with her mind-reading. Of course, given that she's only just discovered her powers (and has no idea if she can even turn it off, let alone how), it's Jusitifed.
- The Rainman: Daisy, again.
- Reality Show
- Reality Warping: The effect of Whimsy.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Jigsaw, when she gets really irate. One of the signs that she's a vampire. She also seems to receive a power-boost when they show. All Dead Inside have this; Jigsaw's eyes just happen to be easily hidden since she's a vampire.
- Rickroll: Jigsaw did this with Maggie's teleprompter.
- Rogues Gallery: Arguably subverted, depending on whether you're rooting for the criminals or not.
- Sarcastic Confession: Jigsaw's got to hide her powers somehow...
Jason: Tell me where Daisy went already! You should know!
Jigsaw: Sure, because we all know I'm a mind reader. After this we're planning a magic act. Think you'd look good in sequins?
- Series Hiatus: Taken at the end of Volume One (to help add bonus content / polish to the Trade Paperback), with a mix of Guest Comics and a previously unseen Bonus Pamphlet.
- Shipped in Shackles: The condemned players arrive under heavy restraint and guard in the beginning this way.
- Shout-Out: On the third page, Vic notes that Jigsaw's name "has that nice "killer" tone to it already." This could probably be a shoutout to the Saw movies, considering they feature a killer named Jigsaw.
- Daisy suggests that the Star Org considers Gabriel Damascus to be like a necromancer becuase he's a Celeste psychiatrist (considered a "dark art"), he corrects her, he's a "Neuromancer".
- Space Jews: Inverted. Most of the Talmi really ARE Jewish! (So what about it?)
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Jigsaw as seen here, just after she was been shot.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: Half the crew now thinks Jigsaw and Addy are lesbian lovers, and Jigsaw can't very well prove otherwise at the moment, so...
- Team Tomboy and Team Girly Girl: Team Andromeda and Team Gemini in a nutshell.
- Theme Naming: Most of the Forte family (Jigsaw, Cypher, Slider and Sudoku) are named after puzzles.
- The Milky Way Is the Only Way: All of Last Res0rt takes place in an unnamed Galaxy that is implied to be the Milky Way, and there's nothing else worth talking about outside of it, apparently.
- The Unmasqued World: Played with, as the Celeste walk around openly among the populace, but the Dead Inside are forced into hiding.
- This Is Sparta: "I have no clue if she's a Djinn, and you know what? I. Don't. CARE!"
- This Is a Sentence Bitch: "Ta, bitch."
- Winged Humanoid: Along with Winged Anything That Moves for that matter.
- Villainous Crossdresser: Kurt "Geisha" Striaeta
- Wham! Episode: At the end of the latest arc, Cypress is badly injured, and Jason makes the situation worse by shooting two of the few people left to carry her to safety. As a result, Jigsaw can't use one hand, Daisy's insides are showing, and they've been left behind with a tone'd Team Corvus while the rest of the crew grab Cypress and leave on the shuttle.
- Writing for the Trade: The comic doesn't drag, but "one-page-a-week" can be a long time to wait.
- Written Sound Effect
- You All Meet in a Cell: Some of the characters knew each other from before, but the show itself is the first time we see all the contestants together.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Okay, they're aliens, we get it. But how did White Noise end up aging into BLUE HAIR?!
- Everything's Deader with Zombies