Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Last Will & Testament" -- The Comic Book

On September 18, 2008, BookSpot Central posted "Comic Book Review - Last Will and Testament" by Jay, which showed just how far from reality the phrase "Last Will and Testament" can stray.

The subject comic book was the joint effort of writer Brad Meltzer and pencilers Adam Kubert (also the cover artist) & Joe Kubert, as published by DC Comics in August 2008 as a "one-shot" issue.

I read Jay's review numerous times, but must confess to continuing confusion over its world of characters, settings, and forces.

[Y]ou still have a story we all understand -- about retrospect, vengeance; to remind us not only of what the heroes fight and would die for, but what they live for.

It’s about a rural couple that would raise an alien that inspires generations, it’s about a family of orphans from Gotham, a graveyard offering by a god touched Princess -- the stories that are the foundation of Super Hero comics.

The players are loud so they can have these quiet moments, but the center of the story illustrates and highlights a story of vengeance, someone who cannot allow for the chance his enemy will die with the world, someone whose pity and pain needs to do it himself. * * *
So why is this comic book named Last Will and Testament?
The term “Last Will and Testament” is a actually an ornamental term, one that employs four words to describe what one of them in fact can and is -- a Will. * * *
This is the reviewer's summation:
Meltzer’s last page is perfect. Dumas tells us that “All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope” and Meltzer and the Kuberts’ do not leave without the final ingredient.

A Flash makes a promise mindful of the history of his mantle in times of crisis and across generations, and legacies, we are reminded that facing the coming storm are the real, brave and the bold.
After reading this review of a comic book, I realized just how much more comfortable I feel reading a real "Last Will and Testament."

Update: 09/19/08:

Professor Gerry Beyer followed my posting with one of his own, entitled "Last Will and Testament" -- The Comic Book" (09/19/08):

On August 27, 2008, DC Comics released Last Will and Testament by Brad Meltzer.

I was excited at the possibility of estate planning instruction being presented in graphic novel format. I thought that this would be a great method of exposing our young people as well as older folks who enjoy comics to the benefits of estate planning in a "fun" manner.

Unfortunately, the comic is not about estate planning. Here is the publisher's description:
The final battle is quickly approaching. How do the heroes of the DCU prepare for the end? Whom do they approach and say goodbye to before they make the ultimate sacrifice?

Featuring the entire DC Universe, Meltzer takes us deep into the hearts and psyches of our heroes. It's the day before you die. What would you do?
The use of the phrase last will and testament is somewhat confusing. Here is the explanation from Jay, Comic Book Review - Last Will and Testament, Sept. 18, 2008:
The term “Last Will and Testament” is a actually an ornamental term, one that employs four words to describes what one of them in fact can and is -- a Will.
Special thanks to Neil Hendershot, editor of the PA Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog, for bringing this comic to my attention.