Tag Archives: kill or be killed

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Those Two Geeks: Episode Two

The hosts of Gotham Weekly return with a new name and a new episode count as they move aware from being a Batman centric podcast into the wider world of nerd and geekdom. Think of it as our very own Rebirth!

But don’t worry, Bat-fans, once again despite the new name there’s still a lot of Batman talk this week  as Alex and Joe sit down to talk about some of the things from SDCC that caught their eye, Superman #27, Batman #27, 

This week’s Comic Club (the feature we don’t name in the actual podcast), in which our hosts assign a comic to the other in order to discuss it on the episode should have been Kill or Be Killed #1 and  Dark Days: The Casting #1, but if you’re wondering where it is, the segment never made to the episode due to time constraints.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you have suggestions for a future Comic Club comic for them to check out.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Kill or Be Killed Vol. 2 TP (Image) – The fantastic crime thriller with a demon (yeah that’s right) keeps getting better. This is the second collected volume of the second arc that follows Dylan’s path into darkness.

Action Comics #984 (DC Comics) – You get a Superman! And you get a Supergirl! And you get a Super… Lex? This arc has been a blast. Take all of Supes’ big bad and put them against his super friends. It’s going down!

Black Hammer #11 (Dark Horse) – Lemire has been a writing machine as of late, and the quality hasn’t dipped. This is probably his best work, but that’s tough to say since he’s doing great work on a few series now.

Saga #45 (Image) – The best in the business keeps it interesting. Whether you read this book in single issue or trade, you’re always left on the edge of your seat. This is a truly special piece of art we are getting, and it’s going to go down as a classic.

Infamous Iron Man #10 (Marvel) – I was skeptical with this book for awhile, and have gone back and forth, but either way, I’ve still enjoyed almost every issue and loved Maleev’s beautiful art as well as the mystery Bendis is building with momma Doom.

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #5 (Valiant) – Without question the best looking comic right now, these issues never feel long enough – which for me is a good sign. If you’re even remotely curious as to Valiant’s comics, then this is a great place to start. Especially if you’re into what is essentially Conan mixed with Old Man Logan set in Star Wars.

Faith and the Future Force #1 (Valiant) – This is a bit of a cheat because I’ve already read this awesome issue. Time travel, a hero that loves comics and a brilliant blend of philosophically aware humour add up to a must (re)read for me on Wednesday.

Adam Wreck #2, Amazing Age #2, Croak #2, Lillith Dark #2 (Alterna) – So four entries in one? Because all four are a part of Alterna’s newsprint line and cost $1.50, and they’re all well worth every penny. Depending on what you’re looking for, there will be something for you among these issues – whether you pick one or all of them up, for the price the’re going for? You honestly can’t go wrong.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Tomboy #12 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The mix of horror, manga, and teenage angst wraps up and if you haven’t read an issue you need to go back to the beginning. One of the best comics that’s under the radar.

All-Star Batman #12 (DC Comics) – This series has been knocking it out of the park and this latest arc which dives deeper into Alfred’s history has been an interesting one showing how you can layer on something new even with a series that has that much history.

Captain Canuck 2017 #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – A reboot of the recently launched character. How it’ll differ? No idea, but I’m intrigued to see.

Heavenly Blues #1 (Scout Comics) – A really interesting concept involving the afterlife that had me entertained with the first issue and looking forward to the second. Basically, it’s a heist comic involving angels and demons.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (Marvel) – This series has been knocking it out of the park with each issue and the fact that it revolves around a brand new character is even better. A prime example of how to expand the Star Wars universe and deliver something new.

Review: Kill or Be Killed #9

Kill or Be Killed is Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Bettie Breitweiser’s ongoing crime/vigilante comic about a Dylan, a young man who attempts suicide and survives because he makes a deal with a demon to give him one dead body each month. What follows is a 21st century equivalent of Death Wish except Brubaker and Phillips are more self-aware at exploring Dylan’s relationship with his family and friends, mental health, and privilege.

Kill or Be Killed #9 is a particularly thrilling installment of the series and is paced like one of the better episodes of Breaking Bad starting with an image of violence or tension in the opening pages, parsing the context for the image, and then ending on a hell of a cliffhanger after Dylan thinks he’s in the clear. Except he’s in deep shit from page one onward with a reveal that the Russian Mafia has been onto him for a while. A routine pickup of anti-anxiety meds from his dealer Rex (Because the American healthcare system sucks.) turns into a shootout with bodies literally dropping and a bullet riddled van careening from Brooklyn to South Jersey.

Sean Phillips and Bettie Breitweiser’s approach to action is less stylized and more frightening and gut wrenching in Kill or Be Killed #9. The gun fight isn’t something out of a Tarantino or Woo film, but bodies and bullets falling awkwardly. Dylan knows what he’s doing a little bit more than the first issue when he got the stuffing beaten out of him, but he bests the Mafia’s fairly dumb hitman, Bogdan (His phone passcode is “0000”.) through sheer luck and fear. He’s no Chow Yun Fat, and unlike Walter White in the early seasons of Breaking Bad, it’s a lot harder to evade getting caught by the police/organized crime in New York City versus New Mexico as Brubaker’s captions, Phillips’ drawing of awkward body movements, and Breitweiser use of pedestrian colors like grey and brown keep the story grounded. Dylan isn’t cool at all; he’s a messed up dude, and this entire issue is riddled with the mistakes he makes even as he blows up a van and talks trash about Bogdan’s lack of phone security.

One thing I enjoy about the way Ed Brubaker plots Kill or Be Killed is that there are always consequences and ripples to Dylan’s action. For example, in the previous issue, the presence of a vigilante in New York leads to the return of stop and frisk by the NYPD, but white males wearing hoodies are profiled in a dark bit of satire. He doesn’t get off scot-free like Charles Bronson in the five or so Death Wish films, but getting driven by a Russian cab driver after killing a Russian stripper was a bad idea and comes back to bite him and drive issue nine’s story. And there are more immediate consequences too as throwing a near dead Rex in front of a hospital on a crowded New York street while wearing a mask  is a boneheaded idea, but Dylan still has a bit of a conscience and feels bad for accidentally shooting him. However, Dylan is in a steaming pile of trouble as the final issue of the arc draws near, and Brubaker and Phillips put his metaphorical feet to the flame. Phillips especially adds a lot to the complexity of Dylan’s character with some of his close-ups showing him as a fearful, anxiety ridden boy manipulated by a demon while others portray him as a an iron jawed, unrelenting killer, who pulls the trigger on Bogdan without hesitation because he must.

Kill or Be Killed #9 is a master class in creating suspense through a non-linear narrative as Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Bettie Breitweiser use the context of flashbacks to deepen the feeling of terror that Dylan feels, and how close he is to getting pinched/whacked. He is one paranoid drug dealer away from being murdered in his bed, and the varied angles that Phillips uses in his panels unpack this uneasiness as Dylan is royally screwed going into issue 10.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Colors: Bettie Breitweiser
Story: 9.5  Art: 10 Overall: 9.8  Recommendation: Buy 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d folks get? What’d you enjoy? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBR – Black Lightning Gets Series Order, iZombie Renewed – Solid on both!

Kotaku – Board Games Are Helping My Wife Recover From Her Traumatic Brain Injury – A very interesting read.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Newsarama – All-Star Batman #10

Newsarama – Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

Monkeys Fighting Robots – Crosswind #1

Meniscuszine – Daytripper

The Outhousers – Detective Comics #956

ICv2 – Gauguin: The Other World

Meniscuszine – Kill or Be Killed Vol. 1

Newsarama – Secret Warriors #1

Newsarama – X-Men: Blue #3

Review: Kill or Be Killed #8

KillOrBeKilled_08-1

*MINOR SPOILERS BELOW*

Kill or Be Killed #8 brings us back to following the misadventures of Dylan. We get to watch the insecurities and realities begin to surround and almost smother him, and paranoia sink in. Sure, there is still some part of him that thinks he will get away with this, and while I don’t know the ending to the tale, the chips are certainly stacked against him.

As with most of the issues in this fantastic series, the end always sets up something huge for the next issue, and this is no different. This story has been an awesome slow burn that has added so many layers that you can tell will all certainly start intertwining soon, and that is what makes Ed Brubaker such an incredible writer, and storyteller.

Of course, a comic book is not just words, and the art is just as important as the script. Thankfully, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser draw and color the hell out of this series. They are some of the most consistent creators in comics, and together with Brubaker, make this one of the best comics out there.

As I have pointed out in my previous reviews of this series, Kill or Be Killed is something everyone should be reading. It is one of my favorite comics every month, and I don’t expect this to change anytime soon. I have the highest expectations for this story going forward, and the ending we will someday get to. I don’t expect it to be a happy ending, but I do expect it to be brilliantly written, and beautifully drawn.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Colors: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Action Comics #978 (DC Comics) – This has become my favorite DC comic, and that includes Wonder Woman. Those two and Superman go back and forth as to what is currently the best out of Rebirth, but either way this book is just incredible and consistent.

The Flash #21 (DC Comics) – Wow what a start to “The Button” with who returned and then disappeared in a “flash”. Yup, I did that. I can’t wait to see where this story goes. Plus another lenticular cover!

Batman/The Shadow #1 (DC Comics/Dynamite) – Riley Rossmo! He is one of my favorite artists, and I’m so happy to see him on a bat book again, and this time he will also be drawing another legendary character.

Old Man Logan #22 (Marvel) – I thought Issue #21 wasn’t as good as I hoped, but this is one of my favorite Marvel books, and Lemire is a great writer. I have hope that this arc will be amazing.

Kill or Be Killed #8 (Image) – This is one of the best comic books out, so I recommend grabbing the issues, or at least getting it in trade. It is awesome, and just keeps getting more intense and better somehow.

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #2 (Valiant) – I loved this issue. I can’t wait to get this in my hands to see non-watermarked art.

Batman/The Shadow #1 (DC Comics/Dynamite) – I found out about this comic when I was looking through Previews to make this list (I tend to avoid solicitations), and I immediately got excited. I can’t wait to grab this.

Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1 (Marvel) – I’ve always been fond of the Scarlet Spider, perhaps because he was the Spider-Man when I started reading comics. You’d think I’d be looking forward to this based on the fact Ben Reilly is back, but I’m more hopeful that Kaine will return to comics, rather than Ben Reily. Yeah, I’m a Kaine fan.

Britannia: We Who Are About To Die #1 (Valiant) – Remember what I said about X-O? I can say the exact same thing here.

Old Man Logan #22 (Marvel) – I’m loving this story. Old Man Logan is revisiting his younger self through some timey-wimey mystical shit, occasionally altering certain things (possibly), but always feeling as though he’s in waaaaay over his head. It’s a brilliant arc, and one hell of an arc for Lemire to leave the series on.

 

Shay

Top Pick: Orphan Black Deviations #2 (IDW Publishing) – Send in the clones. No really , send them in. I’ve got popcorn and everything!

Top Pick: Deadpool vs Punisher #2 (Marvel) – The hits and quips keep on coming in this second installment of DvP and I can’t wait to see if this is the issue where they team up for the buddy anti-hero road trip comic we never knew we always wanted but, can’t wait to see.

Suicide Squad #16 (DC Comics) – Rob WIlliams starts the latest Suicide Squad arc “Earthlings on Fire” with a bang as Amanda Waller makes a deal with the devil (aka Lex Luthor) to fix a bigger problem while the Squad commits some B&E.

24 Legacy – Rules of Engagement #1 (IDW Publishing) – A little back story on Eric Carter the newest super operative in the 24 franchise.

Judge Dredd: Blessed Earth #1 (IDW Publishing) – He’s baccccccck!

 

Brett

Top Pick: Hostage (Drawn & Quarterly) – Guy Delisle… that alone will get me to pick this up, but the subject matter is the real draw here. Delisle’s graphic novel is about the Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André who was kidnapped by armed men in 1997. This book recounts his harrowing experience.

Batman/The Shadow #1 (DC Comics/Dynamite) – Scott Snyder, Steve Orlando, and Riley Rossmo… nuff said.

Hulk #5 (Marvel) – The best comic Marvel is putting out today. An absolutely fantastic look at Jen’s journey post Civil War II and the PTSD she’s experiencing due to that.

Real Science Adventures #1 (IDW Publishing) – The She-Devils get their own series and anything Atomic Robo related is a must read for me.

Smoketown #2 (Scout Comics) – The first issue was beyond amazing noir/crime. I’ve been counting down to the second one.

Review: Kill or Be Killed #7

KillOrBeKilled_07-1MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

To put it simply, this is one of the best comic books out. That’s doesn’t mean it is one of the best non-superhero books, or best crime or noir books, it is one of the best comic books out in the entire medium right now. This is the type of story made by masters of their craft, and this crack team are certainly that. This isn’t their first comic together, or even their first crime comic together, and it shows. You always hear act like you’ve been there before, well these three have, and it shows in Kill or Be Killed #7.

The story does not start off or even touch much on Dylan’s situation much until the end of the book, and even then it is all seen through Kira’s eyes. If you do not remember or know who Kira is, she is the old friend and former lover of Dylan, oh and the ex-girlfriend of his roommate. Yeah, sometimes life is messy, and this story nails real flawed people, and how crazy life can be. None of this odd love triangle or square at this point feels forced, cliché, or unbelievable. This issue felt earned because I have been with these characters on a journey. Kira’s return felt real, and something I have seen in my own life, where an ex returns out of the blue because they want the other person back, or have some other plan. Let’s just say that when Kira does return, she finds some things that she does not like, including that other woman.

Ed Brubaker made an issue that I think could have been pretty boring and while it took me a bit to get into it the way I did, I then realized what he was doing. He took an entire issue and put a ton of character development into it. I feel like I know Kira so much more, and I am so excited to see where this story goes with her back in it. This issue also set up some big things for future issues with what she finds that I won’t spoil. The world seems to be ready to come down around Dylan, who thinks he’s still pulling all of this off, but we know in the real world, things don’t work this way. Dylan is not some expert assassin. He’s not The Punisher. He’s someone in over his head, and he now has a curious and scorned ex as well as a detective looking at things he doesn’t want or know are being looked at.

Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser are the other half of this crack team. They have been with Brubaker on other classics, and they absolutely blew me away with this issue. From the brilliant use of panels showing Kira and her psychiatrist, which again helped so much with her character development, to the photo album filled with old pictures of Kira’s family members that had died, which by the way was a very haunting idea that her family did that. You can see many layers to Kira, as if she was a real person because that’s how real people are. I know I have repeated that quite a bit, but to me it’s one of the most impressive things about this book, and this team. The hard to look awkward scene at the end of the book where Kira is let’s just say eavesdropping on Dylan was depicted so well. From the dialogue, and having it told through her eyes and her ears was a fantastic use of storytelling.

You should read Kill or Be Killed. I think it’s a book that anyone can appreciate. You don’t have to just like crime books, or detective books, this is about real people in real situations, and in real trouble real soon. Dylan is on a crash course for a bad ending, but the book keeps me guessing, and I love it for that. It is continuously one of my favorite comics every month, and I highly recommend to everyone.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Color: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: God Country #3 (Image) – A man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is cured when he’s holding a giant frigging sword. This is another series where the elevator pitch is enough to draw me in, but the humanity and depth within the story is keeping me coming back – although the fact that a mere human is flipping the bird to a pantheon of space gods is also pretty fantastic. There’s a reason this series is hitting multiple printings, and that’s because it’s really really good.

Neil Gamian’s American Gods: Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – I’ve always wanted to read the book, but I never quite got around to it (I read prose books much slower than comics), so this series is something that really intrigues me – even though I know next to nothing about it other than Neil Gaiman wrote the book it’s based off. Does he write the series? I honestly don’t know (you may be wondering how I write for a comic website at this point…).

Black Hammer #7 (Dark Horse) – Jeff Lemire has become one of my favourite writers over the last year, and this slow moving series about a group of superheroes stuck in sleepy tow in the mid west. For some, the town is Limbo, for others Hell, and for one… it’s close to Heaven. What it actually is, hasn’t quite been revealed yet, but I’m loving the slow build up.

Conan The Slayer #7 (Dark Horse) – I’ve always had a soft spot for Conan, and when the stories look this good? I won’t say no.

Divinity III: Escape From Gulag 396 #1 (Valiant) – Archer and Armstrong meet the Stalinverse. Can’t wait.

 

Joe

Top Pick: Neil Gamian’s American Gods: Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – Gaiman has returned to comics, and with one of his best novels ever coming with him. I have been awaiting this for awhile, and my anticipation is through the roof to see how he adapts such a great book to my favorite medium.

Head Lopper #5 (Image) – It returns! What an awesome surprise that we are getting more of this awesome book. The art grabs your attention and the countless lopping of heads of beasts and witches helps keep it.

God Country #3 (Image) – The first two issues have been awesome, and I expect it to get even better. Cates is crafting an excellent tall tale of his own with this book.

Batman #19 (DC Comics) – Bane is crazy, and these two foes are leaving nothing on the table. I expect tons of violence, more villains coming into play, and more twists and turns from Tom King.

Superman #19 (DC Comics) – Wow. What a reveal in Action that I won’t spoil here. What does this mean to the greater Rebirth story, and what is Mr. Oz want with Supes. Great comic and a great arc!

 

Patrick

Top Pick: I Hate Fairyland #11 (Image Comics) – Aww yeah muffin fluffers!

Casanova Acedia #8 (Image Comics) – If this really is a flashback issue, it’ll hopefully focus on the real most interesting character of Acedia, Emil Boutique.

Island #15 (Image Comics) – Always curious to see what a new issue holds in store.

Kill or be Killed #7 (Image Comics) – In which sort-of-ex-girlfriend-but-not-really Kira gets drawn into Dylan’s demonic web. This looks bad – just the way I like it.

Sex Criminals #17 (Image Comics) – Like Casanova, this series has outgrown its main characters for me, and I look forward to it seeing other people.

 

Paul

Top Pick – Super Sons #2 (DC Comics) – A few of my fellow contributors had this on their watch list before issue #1 came out, and after that their reviews were highly favourable. So, I thought I’d check it out…and they were right! Damian is going to be a great partner to Superboy, being the “bad influence” that’s going to get these kids into so many adventures and yeah, probably a lot of trouble with their fathers, and I will definitely be along for the ride.

Avengers Initiative Complete Collection TP Vol. 1 (Marvel) – I just had to give this a nod. This was one of my favourite titles and I loved all the new characters that were introduced in this series; plus it paved the way to the fantastic Secret Invasion event. *sigh* remember when Marvel events were something to look forward to?

The Mighty Thor #17 (Marvel) – Thor is trapped in a ‘competition’ against the gods of the Shi’ar, and I can’t wait for her to knock them out.

Uncanny Avengers #21 (Marvel) – The Red Skull is still controlling the Avengers with his mind, and Deadpool is doing everything he can to free them. But he’s going to need a lot of help, and if cover can be trusted, it looks like Cable is about to step into the ring. This is going to be a knock down fight, and here’s hoping they all walk away. I’ve enjoyed this latest story arc and I’m looking forward to see how it all ends.

Uncanny X-Men #19 (Marvel) – Psylocke made a promise to Magneto when she joined his mission…and now she’s going to collect. I’m really just looking forward to seeing Psylocke, one of my favourite X-women in action.

 

Shay

This is the week of boss chicks and bad ass lady heroes and I’m so here for it that I can’t even breathe! Thank heavens for a good nor’easter because being snowed in with all this comic book goodness is a cure for the winter time blues.

Top Pick: Neil Gaian American Gods Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – It’s one of my favorite books, in comic book form! I haven’t been this geeked out something like this since Fight Club 2 came out.

Top Pick: Black Panther World of Wakanda #5 (Marvel) – This arc is over and midnight angels are about to roll out , reign triumphant and show the villains of Wakanda that there’s some new sheriffs in town. So much lady power! So many strong , black, female character, so much awesomeness!

Batwoman #1 (DC Comics) – It’s a brand new arc in a solo comic book series and, it gives Batwoman a lot to do, some agency and, some asses to kick! So obviously, I’m here for it!

Harley Quinn #16 (DC Comics) – The red meat arc ( or as I like to call it diet soylent green with a twist) is still going on, aliens, a man with a secret plan, the evils of gentrification and the perils of men who underestimate three bad ass crime fighting ladies. Harley’s taking the fight straight to the top. Grab popcorn .

 

Brett

Top Pick: The Best We Could Do (Abrams Comicarts) – The debut graphic novel memoir from Thi Bui is an exploration of one family’s journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. An exploration of immigration that’s pertinent to today.

Neil Gamian’s American Gods: Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – I’ve never read the book but have heard good things so looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about.

Dead Inside #4 (Dark Horse) – I love crime comics and noir, so super excited to read more of this series.

Super Sons #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was tons of fun, exactly what I wanted and expected and this second issue will hopefully bring more of the same. Just a fun series that’s full of energy.

The Wild Storm #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was intriguing with it’s changes to these classic characters and I’m interested in seeing where it all goes.

 

Review: Kill or Be Killed #6

img_0487Kill 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.

img_0486Sean 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

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

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