We return once again to another exciting release for No One Left to Fight (NOLTF)! For full summaries and reviews of each individual issue leading up to the trade paperback, click right here! If this is your first time discovering NOLTF, the basic premise is a small party of former heroes set off to reminisce their victory over ultimate evil. The main heroes Vale, Timor and Krysta encounter former allies, mentors and even a few foes along their journey of remembrance. Emotions and fists fly when suppressed desires and intentions are revealed. Times of peace lead to internal struggles, inter-party conflict and emotional strain, but what happens when there is someone left to fight?
Now that summaries are out of the way, lets talk about this series! NOLTF is possibly one of the most aesthetically pleasing runs I have ever been blessed to visually consume. Weird phrasing, I know, but I found myself revisiting pages over and over just to take in the high level of detail, brilliant color and unmatched portrayal of action. Artist Fico Ossio brings this anime/manga inspired vision to life with breathtaking panels filled with captivating character designs, inventive page layouts and dynamic color schemes that elevate the narrative. Artist Raciel Avila lends her coloring talents alongside Ossio in issues 3-5.
I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t take the time to highlight the phenomenally unique character designs. Each character demonstrates an individualistic look that both entices and conveys personality. Having grown up as a massive fan of Dragon Ball Z, the designs, powers and character dynamics felt familiar and fresh all at once. There are clear influences from anime and manga, which co-creators Sitterson and Ossio openly acknowledge, but with a comic book twist. Knowing that Sitterson and Ossio are also fans of wrestling, I love the fact that Vale’s design includes what looks like a championship belt… If they didn’t do that on purpose it was definitely a subconscious addition.
Incredible art may draw your attention, but it’s the narrative that keeps you coming back for more. Aubrey Sitterson’s writing commands attention while taking the audience through the gamut of emotions. You’re crushed by Winda’s heartbreak over Vale’s unreciprocated love. You’re torn between wanting Vale’s happiness while validating Timor’s anger regarding his advances toward Krysta. And you’re elated when these heroes share triumphant memories of a time filled with devastating monsters that seems somehow simpler than this period of peace. Be it joy, sorrow, victory, betrayal or anger, Sitterson successfully conveys and cultivates these emotions through foreshadowing, context clues and thoughtful dialogue.
Despite my genuine love for NOLTF, there are a few shortcomings. Vale’s mental affliction is a centerpiece of this arc, but is never fully explained. Is it some form of PTSD, mental disorder or the work of The Hierophant himself? We don’t know! Which is incredibly frustrating. I’m sure there are plans to reveal this later on, but considering the future of NOLTF is uncertain, it’s disappointing to not have fully flushed out this key component of the series. Additionally, Krysta’s victory over Bruton felt abrupt. Even one additional page of combat would’ve been appreciated, but they did have to pack a lot into one issue. Obviously the major concern is the cliffhanger regarding Vale’s fate. I love a good cliffhanger, but only when I know for certain that the outcome will eventually be revealed! This is where you all come in, so listen carefully.
Why You Should Buy the TPB!
It’s no secret that if we as an audience want more NOLTF, we need to voice our desire. Issue 5 ends with a plea to readers to let comics shops know how much you want more from this exciting new series. If you want to help NOLTF continue, you can pre-order your copy from Dark Horse which is set to release on March 11th. Also, tell your local comic shop to order copies for you and all your friends and family. This is a beautifully illustrated and written series that deserves to continue!
Aside from the amazing art and exhilarating story, NOLTF is a quick read that anyone can get into. If you enjoy action, romance, humor, monsters, superpowers or all of the above, you are in for a treat. In addition to compiling all 5 issues of NOLTF, the trade paperback includes a sketchbook with commentary by artist and co-creator Fico Ossio. There is also a beautiful 2 page spread showing off all the characters you’ve come to love as well as a few we haven’t had the chance to meet yet. I mean, how can we let the series end before we get to see Billy Von Katz in all his glory? On a very minor note, I do wish the TPB included the 4 preview pages from the Entertainment Weekly Exclusive that cam out before the official NOLTF release. If you would like to see these pages you can find them right here! Now what are you waiting for? Go pre-order your copy today!