It’s time for more Killjoy action as we enter the final third of the miniseries. With how everything came to a close last issue, it looks like things can finally start heating up! Is this where all that waiting and all that building up finally pays off for once? Will the sexbot story collide with the chosen one’s story? Is it good?
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
The plot is that the final battle has still not has not happened at all and we get to see what happens. The desert punks start getting into some small scale fights with the BLI agents, Korse is tossed into a tube for mental reprogramming, the blue sexbot gets shot and captured by the baddies, and the girl gets shot down and has an out of body experience. That is the gist of it, and boy is it something else.
I’ve been accused of not getting it and honestly, that’s a possibility. The thing is though with me, I place a lot of value on the plot, the characters, creativity (to a certain degree. If you got too far, you end up with something incomprehensible like Cosmopolis or something too completely bonkers, like Justice League #23.3) and the emotions of a story. The themes and deeper meanings are great and give something extra flavor, but the main course needs to be good for them to truly matter.
That’s the thing with the Killjoys comic. It’s got the creativity to go far, but the plot is pretty average, the characters are okay (some better defined and fleshed out then others), and there’s no emotion to it in the main story. What I mean by no emotion is quite simple and is connected with the characters aspect of the story. The big moment of the story is that Cola is killed. The girl is upset by his death, but what about the audience themselves? We haven’t really spent that much time with him and haven’t had the time to connect with the character. We know a bit of his history and how he would mean to the girl, but that’s it. As such, we don’t get that emotional shock or sadness for his death. Just indifference because he was a character barely left an impression or did much. It’s a bit better than the DJ dying last issue, since he spent a lot more time with the girl so you could understand why she was upset and feel a bit for her.
Then we have the rest of the cast. The girl’s backstory is revealed here and her origin is honestly kind of interesting. I’ve only seen something like this done once before years ago, so seeing this take is rather fresh. However, she still remains kind of average and forgettable in terms of personality and has been rather inactive in the story. Seriously, she has done really nothing in the story, outside of dragging that cat around that has been spying on everyone, and has shown no sense of growth or character change throughout; just a character who has been dragged around by everyone else. The ending implies she has changed in a way and now she’ll actually start being active, but considering how far we are into this story, this feels like too little too late with only one issue left.
Then we have Grant Morrison/Korse and in contrast with the girl, he feels like he has changed. Now, the change is brought on by the silliest and clichéd trope of all, the power of love, but it is something. He feels different slightly, despite his VERY minimal appearances in the book, but it is something. The blue sexbot and Val are also in this story, but they do nothing of importance at all. The villains continue to be weak and honestly forgettable, because they themselves are not that special. They want to continue to rule Battery City and stamp out emotion, because they think it is weak. That’s something we’ve seen all before in other stories and mediums, but that’s normally made up for with the villains being memorable. The grunts are indistinguishable and their head leader is a blank slate. We know nothing about her outside of her once being in love, but that’s it. Maybe if she actually appeared more than two or three times in the book, we could develop something about her or make her do something memorable, but nope. Nothing.
…Okay then. Interesting fun fact for everyone.
On the plot itself, it continues its trend. It continues to keep presenting new ideas and plot threads at random to this world, but just rushes through them or handles them badly. The big bomb they dropped on us here was Destroya and the revelation that the Phoenix Witch is real, which in implies that the supernatural is real in the world. The whole aspect with the Phoenix Witch could be interesting, since this is a whole new area for the story, but she merely serves as an exposition drop and plot device to motivate the character and push the plot along. That’s it. It feels so wasted and comes out of nowhere (there were minor hints in the first and second issue, but it feels more like a tacked on spirituality theme if anything).
The rest of the writing is just kind of below average. Some of the dialogue is pretty weak or really off (“Now talk dirty to those guns and make yourselves useful.” What the hell was that?), the indifference shown towards plot elements (Cola’s death. The comic does not draw any real attention to him being gunned down. It just acts if nothing has happened.), the nonsensical moments (why was the evil female leader wearing a mascot costume?), and again, the constant adding of new elements to try to flesh out the world. Seriously, they introduced something called the Graffiti Bible, something the androids made in Battery City. Never was mentioned or hinted at before and only serves to add another element (one assumes it will be plot relevant). It feels like the writer really wanted to flesh out his world more and he is trying to squeeze in as many things as possible, even though the time could be better spent with elsewhere. There was a very easy fix to this so we didn’t have to constantly waste this story’s pacing and time on things like that: It would have been to just make the first story into a comic. This is a sequel to a music album, so why not put off this book and just convert the story there into a comic? We could have developed and introduced all of these story elements there instead of trying to squeeze them in now?
I could comment on the artwork, but there is nothing I can say about it. Becky Cloonan is a great artist and everything I’ve said about her work here in all of my reviews remains true. The art is good, but wasted here on a story that does have potential, but has so many problems going for it.
- The artwork is stellar as always.
- Korse’s character has gone through developments.
- The main character’s origin is pretty interesting and unique.
- The main character herself and the villains are kind of bland.
- The writing is lacking in many areas.
- Lacks impact and emotion for the audience.
- Trying to do too much with little time.
Is It Good?
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #5 is just not good. After the bit of criticism tossed at me in the last review, I decided to put more effort into reading and understanding this comic, maybe “get” what people say I don’t get. However, I just could not “get” this comic. It continues to promise that something is good around the bend and loves to show off its creative mind with its concepts and elements, but it lacks things. It lacks a great main character or villains, it pushes new twists and concepts that only serve as hollow plot devices or are rushed over, flaws in writing and storytelling, and without much to blue sexbot’s story, there is nothing truly moving or emotional for the audience to make them feel for anything. There is a clear passion that writer is putting into this story, but it’s just not coming together here, which is the truest tragedy in this comic.