No One Left to Fight #1 Review: A Fresh Take on Beloved Classics

No One Left to Fight
(Photo: Dark Horse Comics)

No One Left to Fight markets itself as "The Comic You Always Wanted." It's a bold claim—perhaps even a presumptuous one—but when you see the eccentric, chiseled, neon-bathed characters and understand its premise, you'll know whether you're the target audience or not. It's a comic meant for those who've followed the chronicles of heroes like Goku in Dragon Ball and other manga legends and for those who have a favorite fighter from Tekken or Street Fighter. No One Left to Fight ultimately makes good on its promise to give those fans a comic they've longed for, though it does stick a bit more closely to its inspirations than need be at times.

If your first look at No One Left to Fight stirs up images of the eclectic Z-Fighters, you're not too far off from understanding the cast of Vâle, Timór, Krysta, and other heroes. Writer Aubrey Sitterson and artist Fico Ossio haven't shied away from the comics' origins either, with both going on record more than once to cite the Dragon Ball universe as an inspiration. But where these other franchises always keep the story going with another big baddie, this comic poses an interesting, seldom-explored question: What happens when the fight is over?

That's a question that obviously can't be answered in one issue, but No One Left to Fight's debut is a first-rate example of how to hook someone so that they stick around to hear the answer. Its story begins at the end of another, after a monumental victory rid the world of the bad guy and gave the heroes some respite from their fights, perhaps permanently. Vâle and Timór stand out as the principal characters, with the pair modeled after Goku and Vegeta, respectively; you're already off to a safe start. A lovable hero who wields power in one hand and compassion in the other with an air of obliviousness about him, Vâle overshadows Timór seemingly without effort or intention. Timór responds in turn with envy, contempt, rage, and attempted shows of strength.

If Dragon Ball and No One Left to Fight are running parallel to one another, the latter sometimes swerves a bit too closely into the former's lane. Seeing parts of Goku and Vegeta in the protagonist and deuteragonist is one thing, but when you see a "Bulma" and two young, roughhousing siblings who are essentially Goten and Trunks, it's almost a bit uncanny at times. Then you have characters like Fargan Vi, a giant crustacean who's got an urban look with his stunner shades and untied high-tops and can even overpower Vâle. You could probably find parts of some other Z-Fighter or manga warrior in Fargan Vi, but that's the type of hero that makes you want to know more about his origins and powers. That's the type of hero that we need in No One Left to Fight.

No One Left to Fight2
(Photo: Dark Horse Comics)

Integral to the appeal of these characters is their designs, which can't be praised enough, both in terms of their core concepts and the way those plans are executed. You can tell just from looking at them that once a fight breaks out, you'll know exactly who's attacking due to how unique and marked their styles are. The brilliant colors from Ossio permeate the entire issue and the first two pages that show Vâle's entrance and his encounter with Fargan Vi are two of the most remarkable saturations of neon-candy colors which serve as perfect summaries for what's hopefully in store for the rest of the series.

Beneath all its Dragon Ball inspirations and gushing colors, there's deeper elements at play that are perhaps the most intriguing part of No One Left to Fight. There's a sense of restlessness all throughout the issue like the heroes haven't fully settled into a world that no longer needs saving, and emotions way heavily on the faces of Vâle and company. Feelings of longing, regret, and reluctance afflict the characters, and it's those aspects of them along with their origins that most deserve to be explored.

Whether you can bring yourself to separate No One Left to Fight from its Dragon Ball nods or prefer to read it as a punk-ish adaptation or love letter to the beloved franchise, it fulfills its promise as a story people have been hoping for. It poses some interesting questions and has the talent to back them up, talent made evident through the stunning visuals and a weighty story. The earth-shattering fights might be what you're here for, but our guess is that you'll get much more than that out of No One Left to Fight #1.

Published by Dark Horse Comics

On July 3, 2019

Written by Aubrey Sitterson

Art by Fico Ossio

Colors by Fico Ossio

Letters by Taylor Esposito


Cover by Fico Ossio