Science fiction mixed with sports has always been an exciting concept. Rollerball, Death Race 2000, and The Running Man are classic examples. Gather up some athletes, convicts, or what have you. Conjure up a crazy competition, and the crowd will come! In Image’s VS, the game is war. It is privatized, a form of entertainment, and every move made is live.
Tell me more!
Science fiction stories mixed with sports is my jam, so I was excited to get my hands on VS. The setting is future Earth. The sport is war, total war, when victory’s a massacre! Sorry, my inner Slayer slipped out. But everything I said is true and broadcast on live TV, complete with commentators, sponsors, and commercial breaks.
The story focuses on the rise and fall of a legend named Satta Flynn. He is the all-star of this wild sporting event, but eventually those stars fall. Flynn has fallen on hard times due to injury, but he is determined to return to the battlefield. He also has issues dealing with the attention that his fame draws. The constant violence he has been subjected to over a long period of time has affected Flynn and the person he could have been.
So Dave, is it good?
The first issue of VS is very entertaining. It stresses the act of war above everything; the world is built around it. Esad Ribic’s artwork is fantastic. He takes the war to another level with the technology used by the combatants. His designs include extra robotic limbs, jetpacks, and an impressive arsenal of laser cannons. Despite all the fancy weaponry, war is still hell. It is ugly, brutal, and extremely cruel. Ribic does just as well getting that idea across visually. Nic Klein’s muted color palette is a nice touch. Everyone loves a good Michael Bay explosion, but Klein’s colors don’t glamorize the act of war. His art displays how grim it really is.
Ivan Brandon has created a fascinating world. War is pure hell, but there is always time to take a break for refreshing, cold, Cherry Combat! The product tie-ins along with the commercial breaks are an entertaining break from the hardcore action that is laid out within the pages. Flynn comes across as a no-nonsense player in the game whose only meaning on Earth is to win battles. There is a feeling that if he isn’t a winner, he is nothing. Brandon does an excellent job reflecting that aspect of Flynn’s personality.
Overall, VS is a sold comic book. I wasn’t a fan of the way the story was broken up, but don’t let that deter you from checking it out. The characters are solid and the action is exciting — and there is plenty of it. So, if you dig science fiction and sport mash ups, then I suggest you check out VS!