Kill or Be Killed#9- Another issue, another murder
Story: Ed Brubaker
Art: Elizabeth Breitweiser, Sean Phillips
Published by: Image Comics
Another issue, another murder for Dylan in Kill or Be Killed #9. In this issue Dylan meets the deadline to kill someone before the end of the month, but due to the increased security in New York and the Russian Mob on his trail, his task is not without complications.
Storywise, Brubaker starts this issue almost seamlessly from the last issue’s ending without much notice. Throughout this story, Brubaker has told this tale very fluidly without much confusion or drop-off. What could be seen as a point of confusion as having a random taxi driver from an earlier be a character’s undoing, feels organic the way Brubaker unfurls Dylan’s prose. Despite the overall flowing of events feeling realistic, I can’t escape the sense that Dylan’s overarching narrative is becoming a bit too tongue in cheek. You can only use the phrase, “I bet you’re wondering how I’ve gotten here…” so many times in one story and it seems as Brubaker has met this quota a couple of issues ago. Despite this, Dylan’s tale continues to be entertaining and exceedingly smartly crafted.
I do wish however Brubaker would get more into the aspect of the curse. As to whether it is real or it’s in Dylan’s head. We get a hint in this issue that perhaps his father had a similar arrangement with the Devil based on his artwork, so maybe it is the legitimate devil. But his overall absence from the majority of the series leaves me wondering that maybe it could be a hereditary disorder passed from Dylan’s father to him.
Breitweiser and Phillips continue doing a prolific job drawing Brubaker’s script. The stylized grittiness encapsulates the ethical and moral dilemma of the plot. However, sometimes the box layouts seem a bit redundant and some layout’s seemed unnecessary. I doubt that the reader needed to see a map of NYC in this issue with images placed on top. It’s not that it is lazy, I just think the images they used overtop the map would be better served larger and more fleshed out.
Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser continue their excellent run in Kill or Be Killed #9 and despite some minor repetition and corny-ness deliver a satisfying and thrilling installment that leaves the reader waiting for the next issue.