Colorful combat comic No One Left to Fight is coming back for round 2
Don't let the title fool you: Over the course of five issues, the protagonists of Dark Horse's colorful comic No One Left to Fight learned that actually, their battles aren't over yet.
Vâle, the hero who once saved the world from apocalypse, is suffering from some mysterious ailment, and old enemies like the Hierophant are still around causing trouble. Writer Aubrey Sitterson and artist Fico Ossio packed those issues with enough details to prove they had constructed a rich mythology around their middle-aged warriors, and when the collected edition materialized last year, it came bearing a 1 on its spine, raising a question that can now finally be answered. EW can exclusively confirm that No One Left to Fight is indeed returning for another series later this year.
"No One Left to Fight was never intended to be a five-part story," Ossio tells EW. "The first saga was planned to be a 10-issue story in two parts. That's why it ended in such a brutal cliffhanger! More than anything, I'm excited to finally complete the first saga and give the fans the proper ending they are waiting for! And also make way for the next sagas we have planned. We have so much more to show of the Fightverse, and it's always exciting to dive back into it."
No One Left to Fight proudly wears its influences on its sleeve. One previous issue took place in a forest sanctuary that resembled the films of Hayao Miyazaki, and references to Dragon Ball Z abound. Vâle's relationship with friend and rival Timor, for instance, strongly resembles the iconic dynamic between Goku and Vegeta, though it also feels more down to earth here since these characters are humans rather than alien princes. Ossio's use of the term "sagas" to describe the story arcs he and Sitterson have planned for No One Left to Fight also recalls the naming system of epic Dragon Ball Z story lines like the Namek Saga or the Cell Saga.
Despite the travails of the coronavirus pandemic, North American graphic novel sales jumped almost 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, an increase mostly driven by manga like My Hero Academia. Manga's publishing model — in which chapters are originally printed in Japanese magazines like Shonen Jump before being collected into miniature volumes, which are later translated into other languages like English and released worldwide — is much different than the distribution system of American comics, but clearly American readers love the kinds of stories published in popular manga.
"This is a genre in and of itself: fight comics," Sitterson says. "It is one of the most popular and enduring genres anywhere in the world — whether you're talking about Dragon Ball or Naruto or the classic stuff like Fist of the North Star or Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. This stuff is massively, massively popular all over the world, and yet it's a genre that Americans don't actually engage with too often. There's hardly a whole lot of home-grown fight comics. So that's what we really set out to do. That's what we attempted to lift from manga: doing that genre, but in monthly, direct-market, 20-page comics."
Clearly No One Left to Fight has found an audience for its blend of manga-inspired comics. Sitterson and Ossio would love to keep making more even after volume 2, and if they succeed they would fit a storied tradition at Dark Horse, where creators like Mike Mignola and Jeff Lemire have spent years building their own self-contained universes around Hellboy and Black Hammer.
On top of No One Left to Fight, Sitterson also just launched another new comic series at Dark Horse called Savage Hearts, a rom-com set amid a fantasy jungle adventure, with artist Jed Dougherty, and is two issues into sci-fi noir The Worst Dudes with artist Tony Gregori. Savage Hearts also contains a backup feature illustrated by Goran Gligovic titled No Kings No Masters, a politically charged retelling of the Robin Hood mythos. Sitterson and artist Tyrell Cannon also just completed their Kickstarter comic Beef Bros, which remixes '80s action tropes with a warm humanity.
"I am a genre guy — not even a specific genre, but just genre in general," Sitterson says. "I love when creators play with tropes and idioms and twist them around to deliver something new and different, even as it adheres to genre conventions. I want to do genre well, I want to do genre exquisitely, but I also want to deliver something that could only work in comics. I want to make sure that, first and foremost, there are comics where every page is awesome, where every page is something somebody wants to linger over."
The first issue of No One Left to Fight II goes on sale Oct. 13. Check out covers for the first issue of the new volume above, and read the comic's inaugural issue for free at EW if you haven't yet.
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