Comic Book Review

The Vitals: True Nurse Stories #1

The Vitals: True Nurse Stories #1

Written by: Sean Ryan

Illustrated by: Marcio Fiorito, Ze Carlos, Mirko Colak

Marvel Comics


Healthcare workers are on the front lines during this difficult time. THE VITALS tells tales of some real heroes, the nurses, as they work in high risk environments in order to care for those in need. Not available in print.

Marvel teams up with hospital administration to tell the tales of real life heroes in one of the most trying times in recent history for them. It’s a nice idea, on the surface, and I welcome almost anything that honors nurses for putting their own lives in jeopardy while saving others. The problem I have with it… maybe that isn’t the right phrase… The caveat to this is – we shouldn’t be doing this to those nurses in the first place. Yes, they rose to meet the challenge. And yes, thank you, nurses, for doing that. But also, nurses, I am so sorry selfless idiots put you through this. Things should have been so different for you.

These stories are inspiring. Obviously saving lives is important, and it’s work I know I could never do. But reading between the lines, this comic.. this based on actual, true events comic… is terrifying. Our nurses are being run ragged. They are giving every thing they’ve got to bring patients back from the edge of death, just to have to run from the room and do it again seconds later. Our nurses are the bright, welcoming eyes that remind a terminal patient they aren’t entirely alone, and thank you again for that, but it’s just one more burden they should not have to shoulder like this.

This comic book is a warm, great read. The writing is good, the art is fine, and the stories are touching. There’s something here almost every one can relate to these days. But the reality of the situation, especially in the news in the background that these nurses turn off to give themselves the strength to carry on, is legitimately frightening. These small snippets we’re reading about are warm and heroic, but what these poor people will live with for the rest of their lives is abhorrent to me. And that is a very tangible part of the story here.

So absolutely, thank you nurses. But even more than that, I am sorry nurses. I can’t believe this is how we treat our real life heroes.

You can read The Vitals: True Nurse Stories #1 here.



True Stories of COVID-19

Marvel has partnered with Allegheny Health Network to tell the true stories of four nurses heroics during the pandemic. Partly inspiring, for sure, but also partly the darkest horror story I've ever read.


Brian has been reading comics since January, 1987, when the death of Optimus Prime rocked his young world. Once a regular presenter on The Nerdstravaganza Podcast, Brian now writes for Florida Geek Scene.