Published by Dark Horse. Written by Aubrey Sitterson. Art, Cover, and Chapter Break Art by Fico Ossio. Chapter 3-5 Color Art by Fico Ossio and Raciel Avila. Letters by Taylor Esposito.
Not since, let me think here, not since Preacher have I wanted to sit down and read 60-70 issues of a comic book in one sitting. This comic has absolutely everything. Everything. Any person who comes up to you, as a comic reader, and says ‘I like (blank), what comics can you suggest for me?’ This. This comic. I don’t care what that blank was. Super heroes, anime, horror, romance, personal drama, coming of age, anime. Whatever you love can carry into here.
And there are only five issues! Five! Did Homer stick to five issues? No! The story is not over and this needs to be given room to breathe and tell the story in full. Buy the back issues. Buy the graphic novels. Harass Dark Horse.
But why? Why am I so excited?
The far too simple elevator pitch is this is Aubrey and Fico telling their Dragon Ball story. The Earth is saved, the villains are defeated, and… now what? And, in a way, it is Dragon Ball. Vale, Earth’s greatest warrior is Goku. Timor is Vegeta, Krysta is Bulma. Other characters along the way fit into the roles. But that just opens the door. An air of familiarity out of Hero with a Thousand Faces. Once our main characters are established, it’s nothing but new ground.
Vale wants to see the sight of his greatest battle one last time. He doesn’t have a wife or kids or really anything now that the fights are over. He wants to see the crater much like your uncle wants to see his high school football field again. Timor and Krysta pack their bags and are sure to leave plenty of room for tension and buried feelings. Along the way this heroic trio stops by to see old friends. Every new character, every location, adds more to the epic battles that took place before this series. But something seems wrong with Vale. Is he getting older? Is he having a midlife crisis? Is there something more? Five issues aren’t enough for a full answer but by the end of this graphic novel a bit more is revealed.
I can’t remember the last time I was dumped fresh into the middle of a pre existing new world and became engrossed by it. Hints of a greater story. An amazing current tale. Characters, animals, buildings, and more in the background that seem worthy of their own tales. I understand the comparison to Dragon Ball but if anything, it reminds me of watching Star Wars for the first time. Everything appears fascinating and connected by an infinite amount of possible stories.
Again, all of this in five issues.
If we’re going to continue to compare this to moving images though, then what about the images? Get your poster frames, some black lights, a box cutter, and multiple copies of the comic because each and every page could be put up on the wall. Nothing looks like this on the stands today. Amazing anatomy and each and every character looks different. They all look strong but you can feel the speed too. Poses, stances, positioning. These are fighters who never let that part of themselves slide. Even quiet moments have a kinetic energy to every panel. Again, this is a world here. Not just make some cool new characters and put them in a familiar New York City we’ve all seen.
Every line drawn is part of this original world. A world full of more colors than our own. I think that’s what really pushed it over for me. The coloring is going to ask if I have a problem. Because I can’t stop staring at it. As much as I would love to actually see this as an anime I worry that an animation studio would say these colors are impossible. Because I’ve never seen anything like this! There will be future colorists saying they didn’t know something like this could be done because no one had done it before.
Finally, how does one make lettering move? We’ve all yelled “kamehameha” and built up the power and energy. But how could that be done in text? Check out this comic. I could feel the power building with each letter and I knew someone was about to get knocked on their ass.
I think I’m at the point of buying anything from these creators from here on out. As much as I would be excited for any new story from them, I would be most interested in issue 6 and more of No One Left to Fight.