If you haven’t read No One Left To Fight (NOLTF) issue 2 yet, check out my spoiler free review right here!
Vale and Timor are in the heat of battle when Krysta steps in to break up their grudge match. Timor’s rage was ignited in the previous issue when his children, Tay and Tor, argued over who would get to play as Uncle Vale. Jealousy combined with an apparent inferiority complex pushed Timor to unleash a blast barrage. Interestingly, issue one’s conclusion shows Timor destroying Gor Despo with this attack while Vale shrinks in either fear or some form of PTSD. This plants a seed of doubt regarding what truly transpired the day of Gor Despo’s defeat.
After tempers are settled, Krysta, Timor, Vale and Pod prepare to embark upon their road trip to the site of Vale’s victory over evil. A large crowd gathers outside of Krysta and Timor’s home to meet the man who saved them from Gor Despo. Vale, confused by the gathering, reluctantly steps outside and is greeted as if he were their messiah. This concept is visually supported by bright light adorning Vale’s head and body as he steps forth with open arms (I see what you did there Fico).
While Vale is bombarded with praise, Timor’s children question why people never come to visit him as he has personally saved the city multiple times. Just as they are about to board their mudskipper vehicle, Tay and Tor hug their father, thank him for saving the city and tell him that they knew he would’ve beaten Uncle Vale if the fight wasn’t stopped. Timor’s bitter demeanor instantly melts into pure joy and love. This heartfelt moment is one of my favorites in the entire issue. It demonstrates how the love and admiration from a select few can outweigh the neglect of many.
As our heroes continue their journey, we witness a nefarious character trailing them. Thanks to co-creator Aubrey Sitterson, we now know that this villainous creature is known as The Hierophant and I can’t wait to see what’s to come in issue 3! But I digress. They eventually make a pit stop at the home of their former instructor Mistress Harga. They are immediately greeted by Winda, a fellow student of Mistress Harga who obviously has a thing for Vale, but is treated more like a little annoying sister. Krysta is the only one remotely excited to see Winda, but is harshly given the cold shoulder. Winda is clearly still upset that Vale was smitten by Krysta rather than her.
Mistress Harga is thrilled to see the return of her finest pupil Vale… while less than enthused by Timor’s presence. We learn that Timor left Mistress Harga’s tutelage after disagreeing with her practices. Mistress Harga expresses remorse over pushing Vale too hard in training while admitting that she should’ve pushed Timor even more.
Emotions explode during a late night bonfire as Harga continues to press Timor’s buttons over what she considered as him quitting. As tempers flare, Vale once again falls into a state of distress and envisions training new recruits and having children with Winda. The images are too much for him as he yells at Timor and Mistress Harga to stop their bickering. After going to bed, Vale is awoken by a scantily clad Winda who hopes to change the hero’s perception of her.
What a FANTASTIC second installment for NOLTF! Co-creator and artist Fico Ossio absolutely CRUSHES it with this art! Those colors!!! The dynamic portrayal of movement, emotion and action make reading feel more like watching an anime. I can hear these characters’ voices spring off the page which is exponentially enhanced by the engaging dialogue from co-creator and writer Aubrey Sitterson. The lettering by Taylor Esposito emphasizes the tone and emotion behind the writing. The character development is phenomenal. Incorporating complicated emotional relationships adds an underlying tension that is sure to make for some compelling altercations.
I love the fact that Pod essentially serves as a guide for the reader on how to interpret any give situation. His… Her?… Do alien squid have gender?! Either way, Pod’s reaction to Vale holding Krysta’s hand in issue one was both hilarious and poignant. It’s clear that Vale has some issues he still needs to work out.
I initially believed Vale’s episodes of delirium to be the result of PTSD from his battle with Gor Despo, but upon re-reading the first two issues, something seems seriously off… Vale continues to have visions of potential futures he could have had with those around him. He envisions having children with both Krysta and Winda, as well as becoming an instructor like Mistress Harga. Are these visions of what could have been or is one of them the true reality? I’m beginning to suspect that Vale’s victory over Gor Despo might not quite be what we’ve been led to believe.
Overall, NOLTF issue 2 is a blast to read. As a massive fan of comics, manga and anime, NOLTF blends them all together perfectly. I can’t wait until we get to see some serious action because I know Ossio will deliver the goods. Sitterson’s writing continues to impress with emotional depth and humor. I’m already itching for issue 3! Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see A LOT of cosplayers dressed as Winda very soon… Issue 2 and the second printing of issue 1 just hit stores so try and snag your copies before they disappear! If your local shop runs out, you can purchase a digital copy right here!
Note: Dark Horse provided us with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.