Kill or Be Killed #1
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Reviewed by David Hildebrand
If Brubaker and Phillips did a crossover of Barney the Dinosaur and Dora the Explorer, I would read that book! That is how much I dig these guys and the chemistry that they have together. I’ve had to wait too long since The Fade Out for another story by these guys! So when I heard that the duo would be doing a story where a man had to kill people, so he can stay alive, I was already on board! And as I expected, this first issue of Kill or Be Killed is spectacular!
We begin the story with a young guy named Dylan in the middle of attacking a group of men. He doesn’t hold back and is very precise and brutal with his actions. During the slaughter, he reflects back on what has lead him to this twist of fate that now has him killing people so he can stay alive.
The flashback shows Dylan has a somewhat depressing life. He pines over his best friend Kira, that happens to be dating his roommate Mason, BUT Dylan and Kira happen to have a secret affair going on the side. Then more depression washes over him as he overhears that Kira actually feels sorry for him. After a failed suicide attempt, we are left to decipher if Dylan is dealing with psychosis or the supernatural as he deals with the aftermath.
Brubaker already has me invested in Dylan and it’s only the first issue! He has done a wonderful job of grabbing my attention with this story. I am finding myself liking a guy that has to kill others to save himself. Granted, he is looking for bad guys to fulfill this dastardly deed, but still, the fact remains. Character building is something Brubaker excels at, so I know it’s only going to get better as we go. Phillips stays consistent with his artwork. The characters look good, environments are detailed and at the same time blissfully bleak. Combined with Breitweiser’s colors, the panels flow without distracting from the story.
Buy it! I have read Kill or Be Killed twice already. It is a brilliant start to what is going to be an exciting story to get involved with. I am ready to join Dylan as he travels down this dark path and I look forward to the many questions that I have getting answered! If you follow Brubaker and Phillips, then you know their track record. They work extremely well together and are always entertaining. If you don’t follow them, then you need to research some of their earlier work and catch up, AFTER you read the first issue of Kill or Be Killed. Bring on issue #2!