No One Left to Fight II issue 1 featured Interviews 

“No One Left To Fight II” Fights On

By | September 27th, 2021
Posted in Interviews | % Comments

With the title of “No One Left To Fight” and the cliff hanger the series ended on you might feel justified saying to yourself, ” it seems like there is someone left to fight! I need answers.” Well the team of writer Aubrey Sitterson and artist Fico Ossio are back with “No One Left To Fight II” which picks up where the first series left off and answer the unanswered questions, and maybe find someone to fight.

“This volume picks up where the smash-hit, critically acclaimed first Fightverse series left off, with the world’s greatest fighter struggling to find his place after all his battles have been won and while there’s still time left.”

We spoke to Fico and Aubrey about what readers can expect from this follow up, building out the world of the “FightVerse,” navigating tropes of a fight comic and more. You can find their answers below and you can find “No One Left To Fight II” in stores and online this October 13.

My first question is was there no consideration on using the title “No One Left 2 Fight?”

Fico Ossio: Hahah, no… but I kind of regret it now? No, in all seriousness I think the “II” next to the original logo is a nice homage to “Street Fighter II”. It fits!

Aubrey Sitterson: And mess with Fico’s iconic logo for the series!? Not a chance! And besides, we want to keep telling FightVerse stories until the characters and we are all old and grey, and my blood pressure is rising just thinking about trying to come up with a pun for “No One Left to Fight 23.”

What can fans of the first series expect going into this sequel?

FO: The first series finished with a massive Cliffhanger. This second part is a direct continuation of that story arc. Which was initially conceived as such. We always knew the story had this second chapter. But this chapter does give a closure to this first Saga. We have plans for more obviously, but this will have a conclusion to THIS story.

AS: Fans should expect more. More of everything. More of the characters you fell in love with, more intense emotional drama, more Fargan VI outfits, more of breakout star Pod, and more explosive special moves in the biggest, most explosive, best, supersized issue-length fight that comics has ever seen.

You have talked about NOLTF being originally planned as a 10 issue series, was the break between the first and this new series always where you always wanted to split?

FO: Yes, when we worked with Dark Horse to split this in two parts, it became clear to us, we needed a big reveal, a cliffhanger moment. To reveal how serious Vâle’s affliction was seemed like a great way to split arks and leave the fans eager for more. We regret it took us longer than expected, for obvious reasons… But we are back now and eager to share with the fans this second part and conclusion of the first saga.

As creators, what do you think the biggest changes are for you in the first issue of this sequel versus where you were as creators in the debut issue?

FO: As an artist I’m constantly trying new things and looking to improve my craft. I tend to see differences or approach my drawing differently after 6 months or a year. So at least that amount of time has passed since the first part. And I think you’ll find this part has a roughness to the lines and ink that’s different. I’m also way more comfortable with the characters, Aubrey builds such great and real personalities to them that I feel they “present themselves ” in the page panels. But that said, I still wanted to keep a consistent feel between the parts, and what’s great about “NOLTF” is that I work the colors too with Raciel. That makes it easier to define its style for me. It’s a lot of fun to work on this.

AS: Because Fico is always growing as an artist, every time he sends pages over, I add to the already interminably long list I have labeled “STUFF FICO IS GREAT AT.” With a full five issues under our belt and a bunch of time to ruminate over them, I came into “NOLTF II #1” with a slew of ideas for how to lob softballs to Fico that he could then, as always, knock out of the park. Coming back to the FightVerse, these characters, especially with so many people just as excited about it as we are, has made our return to No One Left to Fight an absolute joy that it’s been the easiest thing I’ve ever written. I actually just finished the script to issue #5 before sitting down to do this interview and I’m actually supremely bummed out about it. I’m ready for the next Saga!

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With this being a sequel is there any change in how you approach this first issue? I would have to imagine you would not have to make it as user friendly as you would a first issue of a new series? Or do you feel this could be read without having read the first series?

FO: Aubrey did an amazing job with bringing the new readers up to speed on the key elements of the story. But of course, if you want to experience this story in full, it would be best to read the first part as well. Hopefully new readers will be eager to catch up after reading the first issue of the second part.

AS: From jump, “NOLTF” was designed to be a story that doesn’t tell you anything. Even our recap pages are mostly just intergalactic rock star Billy Von Katz’s blathering! We don’t bury readers or exposition or backstory or lore; we get right into the aching emotional drama and hard-hitting action, relying on Fico’s unmatched character acting to do the heavy lifting. The first time around, readers loved the subtlety of this type of storytelling that allows them to ruminate on the world we’ve created, filling in the blanks on their own. We wouldn’t dream of switching up such a successful formula for “NOLTF II!”

You both have built quite a fun and big world with this series. Do you have thoughts about where you would like to take the series after this arc? Could you ever see a prequel or side story series take place?

FO: Oh, for sure. We are constantly having new ideas to build up the Fight Verse. We have plans for two more sagas! And Billy Von Katz is always the subject of any side story. But that’s what’s great about this series. It feels like a huge universe with a lot of possibilities to play with. And that is only after 5 issues. Imagine how much bigger is gonna feel after this saga ends. We can’t wait to work on the next ones!

AS: Fico and I text constantly about FightVerse ideas and we both have multiple documents full of ideas for storylines, existing characters, and brand-new ones. This is the Next Great Dark Horse Universe, baby, and we’re eager for it to expand. First priority? THE BILLY VON KATZ GALACTIC JAMBOREE.

You both have talked about this being a fight comic and pushing the themes and tropes of that genre. For you what makes a good fight comic in general? As you reach the back half of your original arc what themes of fight comics are you exploring and readers may see in this series?

FO: I’ve always been drawn to the challenge or fight to be the best or more powerful. And the rivalries such challenge creates. But as much as we love Fight comics and it’s tropes, I think, what’s great about “NOLTF” is that we try to approach those with a different angle. After all, it’s in the title.

AS: I don’t think there’s a better way to explore a character – what’s important to them, what they’re willing to do to protect it, what they absolutely won’t compromise on – than to see them in a fight. But in order for it to work properly, it can’t just be people punching each other until one of them wins; there has to be a narrative to the fight itself, one that draws out that which is most significant in each character. And for that to happen, you need readers to have a deep, emotional connection with the characters. With the smash-hit first series under our belt, we’re ready to make FightVerse fans shout, cry, and howl with the most eye-searing, gorgeous, breath-taking exploration of ambition, longing, heartache, jealousy, and rage that they’ve ever seen.

The series has provided some outstanding fights and action and issue one of this sequel gets right back into it. As a creative team how have you approached planning a good fight? How do you continue to evolve them to not feel stale? Does that come in building the stakes or the characters involved?

FO: I think you can draw the most epic fight and spectacular action scenes…but if you do not care for the characters, or for the stakes…it just falls flat. That’s why building these characters and relations is the milestone. Is what comes first…and in that those interactions “inform” me how to draw the action scenes, or spark ideas for us on how to design them. At least for me, the more I feel for the character the more emotion I want to project in the panels. More so in the action sequences. Regardless of the dynamic panels or big energy blasts… I think that connection is what makes the reader “feel” the punches.

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And the beauty of “NOLTF” is how much we build up these characters along with the readers. Aubrey did such an amazing job with that. It left “room” for the readers to build up the characters on their own.

AS: Fico’s absolutely right; caring about the characters is key, without that, every fight will feel like perfunctory eye candy. But beyond that, I think that anyone who’s enjoyed fight or superhero comics, martial arts movies, or professional wrestling can attest to the fact that a good fictional fight has its own sets of requirements, a storytelling logic and rhythm that doesn’t map exactly to what you might follow for a story on a macro level. I have hours upon hours of thoughts on this – just ask my long-suffering wife – but to get them, you’re going to have to sign up for my MasterClass.

The first trade is out and after this is complete I imagine we will see another collection. Are there thoughts of a single hardcover collection for the series in the future? Dark Horse nails the library edition format better than anyone.

FO: There’s obviously gonna be another trade for this part…but what excites us is the big trade with both parts AND the prequel pages too. I would love to do a special Cover for that edition. The full complete Saga? It just HAS to be done!

AS: I think this is an excellent idea. What’s more, we need not just one library edition, but multiple; a full shelf of FightVerse comics at your local library! And you know what else would be a great idea? For everyone to add “NOLTF II” to their pull lists and get started now bugging Dark Horse for a follow-up series!

Kyle Welch