Writer Ivan Brandon and artist Esad Ribic’s new book, VS, dropped this week, taking the reader to space, into a world where war has been made into a spectator sport in a team gladiator games format that is sponsored by planet nations and corporations. Fouls, substitutions, penalties, and time outs are all a part of this commercialized sport, complete with commercial breaks and sponsor products like the Cherry Combat beverage--“For times like these.”--to be pushed
Satta Flynn is an A-list Gladiator, who has sustained injuries in his previous appearance in the War of the Seven Fires back in the spring, that is itching to get back onto the battlefield to help his team, just like any professional athlete would today who has been out on the injury list. He is famous, admired, and has superstar status. His fans are excited to see he is back. He has lost part of his leg but that's nothing that medical treatment of this time couldn't fix. He doesn't seem to mind it at all and it's business as usual for him.
As he returns to the battlefield, he thrusts himself into the action without backup and quickly finds out his opponents are ready for him and have studied him through vids of previous performances, learning his timing and movements.
He comes out on top but not without sustaining serious injury to himself. It seems Flynn is facing the inevitable and what every great athlete must one day realize, he's getting old.
Esad Ribic’s work makes this book very beautiful, giving Ivan Brandon’s story a nostalgic look of how old sci-fi novel covers look much like that of a Isaac Asimov or Robert Heinlein book. Esad’s work has earned him a reputation among comic fans with his breathtaking artistry work on Secret Wars and Thor God of Thunder. He continues to showcase that talent in VS.
Brandon does a good job introducing the reader to the world he has created for them. A future where crowded cities, corporate consumerism on every screen, and a techno driven society is surrounded and cloaked by the loneliness of space. It’s a cold place where everyone serves their own interest. A place where loyalty and service comes with a price tag and if you are good enough even fame. So if you enjoy themes of old sci-fi movies like Logan’s Run, Rollerball, or Running Man, then don't miss out on this well written and beautifully illustrated story. Checkout what lies in-store for Flynn as he faces a new generation of gladiators in issue 2 out March 14, 2018.