Review: VS #1

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
February 7th, 2018

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: VS #1
Comics
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Review of: VS #1
Price:
Visually Stunning

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On February 7, 2018
Last modified:February 7, 2018

Summary:

The design and artwork are spectacular from cover to cover. Unfortunately, the story itself becomes confused and this makes it difficult for the reader to become as immersed as the art requires.

Review of: VS #1
Price:
Visually Stunning

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On February 7, 2018
Last modified:February 7, 2018

Summary:

The design and artwork are spectacular from cover to cover. Unfortunately, the story itself becomes confused and this makes it difficult for the reader to become as immersed as the art requires.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

With the Image Expo 2018 just around the corner, all eyes are on their plans. However, there are still plenty of Image comics hitting the shelves and this week sees the release of a new title, VS. Our contributor, Darryll Robson, takes a look at this new sci-fi adventure comic.  

The creative talent involved with this comic is enough to make someone pick it off the shelf. Ivan Brandon has worked on many successful titles, including Drifter from Image Comics, and Esad Ribic’s art is instantly recognizable. The cover of this first issue is intriguing and brilliantly designed. It is distinctive and a definite eye catcher.

But how does it fair as a first issue?

Image Comics

Synopsis

In a hostile world, two forces meet and battle to the death. But not is all as it seems. The soldiers are part of what appears to be an elaborate gladiatorial game, and it is being broadcast live to the world at home. Satta Flynn is the star of the ultimate reality TV show, and he’s on top of the world but who long will that last?

There are always casualties in War so how long can Flynn avoid becoming one?

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Analysis

From the design work on the cover and title page to the expressive artwork inside, VS has a bold and vibrant look. It leaps out of the shelf at you from among the standard superhero covers and overcomes one of the hardest obstacles faced by today's comics: getting noticed in store.

This stunning visual continues throughout with Ribic’s artwork making the opening of VS a thing of wonder. The vast space scene with the elaborate ship designs will take the readers breath away and ready them for the Alien environment they are about to enter. The following battle is a highly choreographed sequence with no clear hero or villain. Ribic moves the reader from panel to panel following a flow of action that seems chaotic on the surface but is cleverly designed to integrate the reader into the world of Satta Flynn, the ultimate ‘hero’ of the comic.

There is nothing about this opening that you can fault. It flows well, looks good and introduces some characters in a particular way. The twist, when it comes, stops the reader in their tracks and suddenly makes them question what they have just read. It’s triumphant of comic book storytelling.

Credit: Image Comics

Image Comics

Unfortunately, from this point onwards the story becomes less clear. The setting changes, which is obvious, but the relationship between the two places isn’t apparent. Is it a simulation? Is it a recorded memory? Does it involve elaborate avatars? This aspect of the comic isn’t evident and that interferes with the rest of the storytelling. It makes it difficult for the reader to relax back into the narrative.

Fortunately, the artwork doesn’t suffer at all and in fact, helps to distinguish between the two locations. The coloring for the War Zone is murkier in comparison to the vibrant hues of the homeworld. The is a noticeable difference.

The overall design has a Neon Noir look, similar to Blade Runner or even Akira. There are significant expanses filled with tubes and pipes all coated in cool blue shadows, broken by yellowish glows and red streaks of light.

Esad Ribic and colorist Nic Klein have produced a stunning visual comic. It is a shame that the story, as yet, doesn’t live up to that aspect of it. It has potential and is an intriguing idea, ‘Space Gladiators’ as Brandon calls it in the afterword for this issue has legs. Reality TV; futuristic War; pressures of fame; these are all relevant, favorite concepts for modern fiction, so there is an audience there waiting for this. If the second issue continues to impress with the visuals and manages to pin down the basics of this world, then VS will be a hit.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, but he does remember to write more about comics on his website comiccutdown.com

Story continues below

VS #1

  • 3

Visually Stunning

The design and artwork are spectacular from cover to cover. Unfortunately, the story itself becomes confused and this makes it difficult for the reader to become as immersed as the art requires.

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