Last issue, Dylan made his first kill. This week, we explore how he deals with his new status as a vigilante/murderer—along with his absolute mess of a personal life.
Is it good?
Kill or Be Killed #3 (Image Comics)
- Dylan promises the reader not to go off on tangents. It’s sweet of him, but we all know it’s a promise he can’t keep.
- “Tarzan fought Nazis?”
- If there was ever a good excuse for getting out of a “We need to talk” moment, hunting down info on the dude you killed the night before is it.
- Dang it, Dylan. You killed a child molester and you’re still making me doubt you.
- That demon better be careful or Mark Millar’s gonna sue him for ripping off Kickass’ costume.
- Okay, I just started to like Kira a whole lot more—and feel pretty bad for her.
- (I won’t reveal what I saw to make me say that, but let’s just say that I was reading this issue next to my wife and it caused a somewhat awkward situation).
- Hell yeah, Dylan. Hell yeah.
- Ugh. This guy.
Is It Good?
When a series entitled Kill or Be Killed puts out an issue with minimal action and lots of dialogue about a non-existent relationship, it could (and maybe should) be a recipe for disaster. In the hands of Brubaker and Phillips, however, it somehow ends up as a fantastic issue.
A large part of this is due to Dylan’s uncomfortably authentic introspection. Despite murdering a man and being manipulated by a demon, Brubaker continues to make him even more relatable. He also does a fantastic job of making sure Kira is more than just a frustrating plot device. Both her past and her relationship with Dylan are infinitely more complicated than we’d originally thought. I’ve gone from resenting her to desperately wanting to know more about who she is—and actively rooting for her almost as hard as I am for Dylan.
As usual, Phillips’ gorgeous artwork also helps carry the narrative load. Brubaker’s script is strong on its own, but the expressions and body language that Phillips imbues the characters with greatly adds to it. You can tell the years these two have spent creating comics together has them fully in sync with each other.
Speaking of things being in sync, I really like the way the story ended. Instead of throwing a big plot shattering twist at us, Kill or Be Killed #3 plays out just like you’d expect, allowing the revelations/transformations of its characters to serve as the hook, instead.
That’s not to say that I don’t expect there to be major plot twists and turns down the road. But for a character-driven issue like one, the narrative progression we’re treated to is damn near perfect.