Kill Or Be Killed #1 Review
Kill Or Be Killed – Issue 1
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser
This article contains spoilers about Kill Or Be Killed 1.
Would you kill someone if they deserved it? Like, if they were a really awful human being and there wasn’t a redeeming quality to them? It seems like this is the question asked by Kill Or Be Killed, the new great project from Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser and Image Comics.
This first issue starts off with a bang as we follow Dylan and his narration of him justifying his means. We live in a horrible world. Murder, racism, homophobia, terrorism and cops killing the innocent. It isn’t a pretty place but one that mirrors our own. We see what pushed him to this point, which is just one bad situation by another.
We’re given a character that’s pushed to this plan of action by life dumping on him all the time. He can’t stand up to bullies on a bus cat-calling his lady. He can’t handle the living situations with his roomie. He can’t even kill himself right. There’s something else at play here but it’s something I have to leave you to find out on your own. Stack up all of life’s misery and you get a character that feels that it is time to take down the nasty element in life.
This is an easy review to leave at you in this way: do you follow this creative team? If the answer is yes, and it damn well should be, then this is an easy purchase. This book is every bit as good as anything they’ve done to this point. It’s a violent, dark piece of work that’s as enjoyable as anything I’ve read. Ed Brubaker is great at creating what seem like real characters with real dialogue. There is great character development.
I really found the art by Sean Phillis and Elizabeth Breitweiser to appeal to me and it’s what I like in comics. There is some masterful page layouts and visuals. The book is a treat to just look at. There are so many times when I’m left feeling like I’ve just viewed something incredible that’s in comic form.
If you read Criminal, which was by Brubaker and Phillips, you saw that the singe-issues contained some essays about crime and pulp noir. Kill Or Be Killed has one in it, too. This one focusing on Death Wish, the vigilante film that Charles Bronson was in.
This is something I’ve been waiting to read for a long time, since I saw the announcement at Image Expo back in April. But again, I’m sure you’ve read The Fade Out, Fatale, or picked up the recent Criminal one-shot. I shouldn’t need to sell you on this. But if I have to, I would want you to know that these are creators at the top of their game doing something pretty special in the medium. Pick up Kill Or Be Killed. And if you haven’t picked up their previous work, then shame on you because you are missing out on some exciting work.
Story: 5 of 5
Art: 5 of 5
Overall: 5 of 5