Review: VS #1

VS #1
Written by Ivan Brandon
Art by Esab Ribic, Nic Klein, and Aditya Bidikar
Edited by Sebastian Girner
Published by Image Comics
Released February 7, 2018

A new sci-fi series kicks off not with a bang, but with a moment of quiet.

Opening on a blue-green, but ringed, planet floating in space. VS starts very laconically and builds steam quickly.

Flynn is a heroic warrior, and Flynn is a broken weapon. Lt Flynn is recovering from a severe injury and is pushing himself to get back to his squad. This story of struggle is bookended by Flynn battling heroically in gladiator-style team combat.

Ribic is in top form here. He is creating a world from scratch and making every character distinct and with a personality. The layouts are exciting and the action frenetic. The first few pages ease us in with only one to four panels per page, leaving plenty of air in the story to get a feel for this world and have the audience zero in on our lead.

Klein’s colors add beautifully to the story. The blue tone of the battle scenes and in the hospital are in stark contrast to the reds and purples of the world outside.

With no big blocks of text to deal with, Bidikar has the opportunity to place balloons carefully and move the eye around the page smoothly.

It is a breath of fresh air to have a heavy sci-fi book like this be free of narration, a few brief scene-setters aside. The weight of the storytelling is put on the sparse dialogue and the beautiful art.

If you are a fan of 2000 AD, Heavy Metal, or particularly Alien Legion, this book will feel like going home.

I will confess after two reads I am still not completely sure what is happening. Is the gladiator battle Flynn’s memory, or a VR game? Or both? My confusion only adds to my interest. I look forward to seeing this world unfold.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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