PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of VS #1 from Image Comics. Available this Wednesday, February 7th on New Comic Book Day (NCBD), the issue features writing from Ivan Brandon, interior art by Esad Ribić, colors by Nic Klein, and letters from Aditya Bidikar.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
Available: February 7th, 2018
War has become a spectator sport. Privately funded armies of superstar soldiers march into battle for fame, profit, and the glory of their sponsor nations.
When a new generation of soldiers arrive, top gladiator Satta Flynn is about to discover how fleeting the limelight can be.
From writer Ivan Brandon (BLACK CLOUD, DRIFTER) and superstar artist Esad Ribić (Secret Wars, Uncanny X-Force) in his creator-owned Image debut, with painted color by Nic Klein (DRIFTER, VIKING) and graphic design by Tom Muller, VS delivers spectacular action, darkly humorous satire, and explores our hunger for fame and our penchant for self-destruction.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Ivan Brandon has brought something new to the table. Crafted from equal parts science-fiction and the gladiator games of ancient Rome, comes the new series VS. On an alien world where like the description says “war has become a spectator sport,” readers will feast their eyes on the ravages of combat and what came happen when “wars” greatest champion falls from grace. A masterstroke of writing and creativity, courtesy of Ivan.
Esad’s art is very different. There is form and shape to everything but there is also a bit of starkness to the art, for both the people and the world that readers are presented with. Almost as if to express the bleakness of this planet, where war is all about ad space and celebrity combatants. His designs for the various armors and armaments used in the battles are fascinating to look at and so richly detailed. Whatever surprises Esad has up his sleeve for the next issue, it’s going to be good.
Nic has done well as the colorist. While every page has some brightness to it (signs, ads, curses being blocked out), it’s the colors for the people and the world itself that are intriguing. Both these elements have color to be sure, but it is not bright and loud, it is scaled back, subdued. Almost as if Nic is doing his part to convey what a bleak and depressing planet this is, that battle is now like a reality TV program for the edification of the viewers.
Aditya outdid himself lettering issue #1. While the words themselves don’t differ much in the way of font or stylization, it is the substance of the lettering that stands out. There is a lot of creativity, especially for the lettering for the newcasts, the info messages and commercials. Aditya is doing his part to put a hard emphasis on what kind of world this is, one of instant gratification in the form of news and entertainment.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
VS #1 has brought glorified combat out from the reaches of Earth and into the stars. Welcome to a planet where the wars are not fought for honor and glory, but for ratings and money. The bread and circuses of an alien world, all laid out in glorious story, art, color and letters for Image Comics fans. This is a book that should not be missed out on, because if this first issue says anything, it’s that people are in for a wild ride.
5 Out of 5 Stars
VS #1 can be purchased on ComiXology and available
at your local comic shop and online retailers Wednesday, February 7th!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Ivan Brandon
Artist – Esad Ribić
Publisher – Image Comics