Writer: Aubrey Sitterson
Artist: Fico Ossio
Color Artists: Fico Ossio with Raciel Avila
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dark Horse
At the end of the last issue, the crew left their former school and training facility behind. Their journey now takes them further into this beautiful world, as they want to visit some more friends from their past. Unfortunately, Kaya and Quon do not wish to be found, and so Vâle, Timór, and Krysta get lost in a foggy wood. What could possibly go wrong? But this issue is not just about them; we also get to see Fargie again, as well as the Hierophant. Can the fourth issue of No One Left to Fight continue to astound, or is everything slowly falling apart?
To be honest, at first, I was a bit worried because the preview pages (which you can check out here) teased more reunions, more old friends, and more stories we do not know anything about. But after a slow start, which featured some great character work (more on that later ), this issue picks up its pace.
First, we get a glimpse at what Fargie and the kids have been up to all this time. Let me just say that Fargie rocks a killer new outfit. It’s yet another clothing choice which seems to be inspired by ’80s fitness videos, but it’s a bit more refined to Fargie’s particular needs. The first time I saw this character, I was in love. His behavior towards the kids, how he talks to them — it all feels honest and sincere. Thankfully, we get to know a tiny bit more about him in this issue. So, buy this comic, because I want a Fargie-centered spin-off where he has his own adventures and maybe takes the kids along.
Fargie is actually a good example (and segue — don‘t tell anyone) regarding the excellent character work I always liked about this series. It actually lets the characters experience their emotions. We see what they go through, and other characters address that. It can be more subtle and brewing under the surface, as is the case with Kaya, who seems to compensate past tragedies with his behavior. I don’t think he really addresses his fears and trauma yet, at least not to a point where he can have hard and honest conversations about them.
In the case of Vâle, and maybe because he is one of the main characters, they speak about it more directly. His conversation with Quon is one of the best scenes in this issue. Vâle, as we have seen in previous issues, seems to have lived by himself for quite some time. When you have no one else to talk to, you might make up your own perception of yourself, your experiences, and what you feel. And alone, those opinions can never show us the whole truth (if there is such a thing) because we need others to give us new perspectives, ideas, and maybe solutions. But Vâle is trapped in his past, unable to move on. At least until now. I am excited to find out where he will be, once we reach the finale of this series.
The Hierophant also fits in this category of well-written characters — even the villainous sort. Villains in those stories seem stuck in their destructive behavior and always look for new ways to destroy the heroes–the ones who did them wrong in the past. Vâle appears to be that person for the Hierophant in some way or another. Anyway, the Hierophant still pulls off some pretty sweet moves, and I am eager to find out where this all leads.
The complexity of character also shines through in Timór. In another world, he could be the villain. I mean, he is one inappropriate (or misunderstood) comment away from becoming the next big bad guy. Honestly, people have to stop making jokes about his marriage with Krysta. They are right for each other (yet another spin-off I want to see happen).
As was the case with previous issues, the artwork in No One Left to Fight #4 is to die for. First, we get to experience the mystical forest, then a shift in tone and colors as we get the short scene with Fargie and the kids (is that a band waiting to be founded?). And the finale just looks otherworldly. Just look at the details of the character designs. Every hair seems to be placed with care and minutia. Add the colors, and you get a magnificent-looking comic.