See all reviews of Kill or be Killed (11)

This week, Kill or Be Killed moves back to Dylan’s point of view. As you might expect, the life of our favorite unreliable narrator is simultaneously exciting and a complete dumpster fire.

Kill or Be Killed #8
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Publisher: Image Comics


Observations

  • Nothing hurts like getting a giant truth bomb dropped on you by the guy running your local newsstand.
  • You’re not paranoid when everyone really is trying to find you.
  • Say what you want about Dylan’s morals/ethics, but at least he gets the fact that we might not remember stuff from a few issues ago.
  • I know Kira is his dream girl and all, but I’m definitely on #TeamDaisy.
  • Gotta love when someone gets cited for “resisting arrest” with their face and ribs.
  • I sort of hate how rational Dylan can make his actions sound.
  • Stalking someone out in the open was probably not a good idea, though.
  • Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse…

The Verdict

If there’s one thing about this issue that bothered me, it’s that we aren’t seeing Dylan going through the same sort of sickness we previously observed when it got near the end of his month between kills. That may actually be part of the plot (re: whether the demon is real or imagined), but I still wish it had at least been noticed or addressed in some way.

Otherwise, Kill or Be Killed #8 is another fantastic issue. Dylan’s knack for convincing himself—and the reader—of the necessity of his choices is breathtaking. Even his moments of self-doubt are masterfully twisted into moments of soft martyrdom. Ed Brubaker accomplishes a great deal of storytelling, as well, putting Dylan through a perpetually accelerating decline without ever letting the narrative feel padded or redundant.

As usual, Sean Phillips’ artwork is brilliant, perfectly complementing the script in a way that makes the book’s hyper-focused point of view even more intimate. My apologies if this sounds too hyperbolic, but the way Phillips draws Dylan’s facial expression is a testament to why comics are such a great medium for storytelling. Brubaker’s script would still work great as prose, but the way Phillips renders Dylan’s escalating despair is truly stunning.

And speaking of despair, there’s no way that cliffhanger at the end doesn’t lead to more problems for our very flawed/troubled protagonist. Let’s hope it also leads us to a bit more insight into whether or not Dylan’s health in relation to the demon is ignored or purposefully omitted.

Kill or Be Killed #8
Is it good?
Despite missing a major plot point (which may turn out to be an intentional omission), Kill or Be Killed #8 is still a fantastic issue.
Dylan’s knack for convincing himself—and the reader—of the necessity of his choices is breathtaking.
Writer Ed Brubaker accomplishes a great deal of storytelling, putting Dylan through a perpetually accelerating decline without ever letting the narrative feel padded or redundant.
The way Sean Phillips draws Dylan’s facial expressions is a testament to why comics continue to be a great and viable storytelling medium.
We aren’t seeing Dylan going through the same sort of sickness we previously observed when it got near the end of his month between kills.
8.5
Great

  • TCB

    I was under the impression from the previous issues that Dylan’s sickness only appeared right as the month is about to end, ie, the last 48-72 hours or so, but in going back through those issues, there doesn’t seem to be a set timeline for them per se (maybe it is just in Dylan’s head, so it stretches a bit, or maybe the pills have something to do with it); I have a feeling your suspicion about the sickness being a real vs. imagined thing is going to pan out. But this might be the book I look forward to the most each month: it’s like Gerry Conway/ Ross Andru Spider-Man if Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive bullet and became the Punisher.