Writer: Aubrey Sitterson
Artist: Fico Ossio
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dark Horse
As a minor Dragon Ball Z fan, I distinctly remember the spectacular, very long fights. I feel like they took place over several episodes and the characters were talking endlessly (even more so than Spider-Man). And all that just so that at the end, both characters still stood on a now destroyed landscape.
As we left two of our protagonists (Vâle and Timór) at the end of the last issue of No One Left to Fight, everything pointed at such a conflict. How does the creative team handle such a thing in the comic book format?
If there is one thing I like about well-told stories, it’s expectation subversion. Sometimes I talk myself into a rant or sigh heavily at a possible outcome of a situation. Therefore, I love to be surprised and be told by the author that I am wrong. This is especially the case when I forget that other characters still play a significant role. In the heat of the situation, those characters fade into the background. But sometimes, they come back with a bang.
In the second issue of NOLTF, the honor of a cool entrance goes to Krysta. Defusing a tense situation can be as simple as yelling at two testosterone-fueled machos who have nothing better to do than compare the size of their Kamehameha’s. This surprisingly quick resolution to the great cliffhanger of the last issue feels fresh and welcome. It gives the characters room to breath and the reader a chance to quickly re-enter the world – without an unnecessary fight.
The rest of the issue takes us on a two-fold road trip. For one, we get to experience the landscape of NOLTF in beautifully rendered panels (more on that later). The characters’ journey to the site of their last significant victory takes place in silent panels. There is a meditative mood throughout the scene. We also get to experience a new side of the characters as the author begins to unveil their inner core. What makes them tick? What happened between them? I cannot wait to find out more.
I talked about the script-side of the issue, but I can’t believe how much effort, style, and trust comes with the artwork. The vibrant, bright colors paint a clear picture of the story and sometimes come as a stark contrast of what is going on inside the characters. This dichotomy is made clear by the details that go into the drawings of the characters. Their facial expressions, body language, and the composition within the panels tell their own story. Even without the dialogue, you would understand the basic beats of the story.
The style and design of the book continue to excel. At first glance, the panel structure might seems chaotic and wild. We see large panels stacked upon each other and reaching into the bleed, characters and vehicles breaking the panel borders, and more such techniques. But there is a system to it all; somehow it just flows and never gets confusing. Kudos to Fico Ossio. The smooth experience also comes thanks to letterer Taylor Esposito, who guides you effortlessly through the pages.
At the end of the last issue, I was on the edge if I should pick up #2. I am glad I did. Every character becomes relatable in some form, and even Timór, who I didn’t understand at first, transformed into an actually exciting figure. His compassion for his family, his willingness to compromise, and his love for Krysta are things everyone knows themselves.
Even the new characters are integrated with care and intrigue. They also shared history with the protagonists and influenced their lives. Without them, who knows where they would have ended up. You can see this deep connection by the way they react upon seeing their old friends. It also gives the whole cast a feeling of familiarity. Was it really just two issues?
The only downside I can find: Forgie has not enough screentime! I need more Forgie in my life!
What I am trying to say is: There is no reason you should not pick up No One Left to Fight.