Review: Kill or Be Killed #6
Kill or Be Killed #6 fires off a shotgun blast of craziness and moves much quicker compared to the slower paced issue #5. That isn’t to say #5 wasn’t good because it was. It was just a slower paced book that ended with a big cliffhanger. That cliffhanger is where we start this issue obviously, and it doubles down by adding a few other levels of intensity and claustrophobia to what used to be a guy who was in over his head, thinking he is doing the right thing, and killing bad people because “a demon is telling him to”. Yes, I wrote that in quotes, because I wonder if the demon is a real demon at all, or something Dylan is either seeing or his brain is manifesting as either a self-defense mechanism or another condition. I trust Ed Brubaker as a writer and am excited to how far he takes this. This book explores what would happen if an everyday civilian tried to be The Punisher. Spoilers: it isn’t sustainable.
Just as Dylan thinks he is actually pulling this whole crazy vigilante plan off, a new detective is on the case. Enter Lily Sharpe, a young female detective who is beginning to connect the dots to random murders across New York City. Now that a masked vigilante made the front page of the paper, Detective Sharpe begins to put the pieces together to a previous case she worked on, the unsolved murder of man that had a laptop filled with child porn. If you’ve been reading this series, you should know who that man was, since it was Dylan’s first target. It’s funny how one thing can lead to another, and then all of a sudden a young, hungry detective is connecting murders that you committed. This is going to get crazy, very, very soon.
Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser do such a good job to make a modern story feel classic. Like the rest of this series, the all-star pair give this issue the pulp noir treatment, but with a bigger color palette. They have both worked with Brubaker on his other books, and it shows. They are a fantastic team that only continue to get better. They not only compliment the story, they are a large part of it. The panel work gives the feeling of scenes from a cop television drama and helps keep the narration spell out the plot clearly and give the book a nice easy to read flow and pace. Whether it’s original ideas like using first person viewpoints on evidence or a newspaper or the believable portrayal of human emotion on the characters, they do a great job making everything believable.
If you have not read Kill or Be Killed, you should check it out. The first volume is out containing issues #1-4 and it would be a great story to read in trade. Dylan is relatable in so many ways, well he was at least. Now you just want to yell “STOP!” at the book with every decision he makes, but I still feel like I am rooting for him. Even with the things he is doing, I believe he thinks he is doing the right thing. However, Dylan is no longer the man we knew in the first arc. He is becoming some super confident version of himself, and it definitely reads more and more like a cautionary tale. I can’t see a good way out of any of this for him, but as we know with good writers, not everything is as it seems, so let’s see where this book and Brubaker take us. For right now, there’s someone who is convinced he has to kill someone on a regular schedule to keep himself from dying because of what a demon told him. Also, there is a determined detective and an angry Russian mob after him as well. Everything is coming home to roost for Dylan. Maybe. Will he continue to kill or will he be killed?
Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Color: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review