Review: Kill or Be Killed #5

killorbekilled_05-1It feels like too long since we have followed the nail-biting and tense adventures of Dylan. Thankfully, Kill or Be Killed #5 gives us a new entry in the fantastic crime drama from the best team in the business. If you have not read the first four issues, this week also gives us the release of the first volume, collecting those. So if you have not caught up yet, you should, because this series is fantastic.

This issue is good, I just do not think it was as good as the first four. That isn’t a bad thing, as it does a lot to set up the next arc within the overall story, and it does cover some solid ground. The story is moved ahead a few months, and we see Dylan training to defend himself, how his relationships have changed with his friend and the girl that he loves, an old flame, and his next target. Overall, this issue is a solid entry in the series and moved things forward a bit. We will see how much that pays off, but I trust Brubaker as a storyteller.

The story is told by Dylan as the narrator as if he was telling a friend everything that had happened the last few months. There are a lot of oh and then this happened moments that makes the story hop around, and I felt it didn’t have the usual flow of the comic that I enjoy. Again, it isn’t a bad thing, it just felt different, and I had gotten used to the intensity and the craziness that Ed Brubaker has given us so far. That isn’t to say there isn’t any of those moments because the book-ending moments of this comic left me with my jaw hanging open. Things ramp up very quickly for Dylan, and you get left with a cliffhanger. I need to know what happened here, and I do not want to wait.

killorbekilled05-review3Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser continue the rock solid artwork in their pulp style which surprisingly really works well in this modern setting. The layout is fantastic too, as there are pages that allow Brubaker to write some prose down the sides of the artwork. It is a nice detraction from how the traditional comic page can be and makes the book stand out aside from the fantastic story. The panel work is also fantastic and helps show emotion or action from our characters sometimes without the need for dialogue or narration. It is effective storytelling and compliments Brubaker as they have so many times before.

Kill or Be Killed is a series that you should check out. If you like crime dramas, thrillers, and gritty street justice, then this book is for you. You are following the story of a man who is figuring everything out as he goes along, and you feel like you are on the journey with him. He makes mistakes, especially in this issue, and the reader can vicariously live through him. How long can he keep this up? And if he stops, will he truly die like the demon told him? If that last question makes no sense to you, then you should buy the first volume that releases the same day as this issue and catch up.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Color: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review