Title: VS #1
Words: Iván Brandon
Art: Esad Ribić
Colors: Nic Klein
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Publication Date: February 7, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “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.”
VS is like a real-life first-person shooter. The squads are out there on a map trying to capture the territory without being taken out and the audience is right there with them. There is no re-spawn, they endure actual injury and if they are lucky they might come to in a hospital. When Lieutenant Flynn awakens, he has been amputated, augmented, repaired, and is ready to be sent back to battle as soon as doctors allow.
Immersive and fast moving, Brandon blurs the line between gaming and warfare; between human and machine. At this point Flynn is nothing more than a driven killer and the world is nothing more than a battle ground. Hopefully more about the individual characters will be revealed in upcoming issues.
Alien terrain and chaotic battlefields have the unreality of a scene viewed through a video monitor. The action is frenetic and three dimensional. The words are secondary to the astonishing visuals.
The Bottom Line:
The world is callous and cruel and only the unrelenting survive. In VS #1 it appears that what is left of human kind is without humanity of any kind. This debut issue has action galore and looks to have more of a story as time goes on.