Saturday, December 2, 2017

Review: Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1

Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1 Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1 by Ed Brubaker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It turns out that being a gun-toting vigilante who kills people indiscriminately isn’t as easy and fun as Charles Bronson made it look like in those Death Wish movies. Who knew?

Dylan is a grad student with a lonely crappy life and a history of depression so it’s not that big of surprise when he decides to end it all one night by jumping off the roof of his building. What is a surprise is that he lives, but then he starts seeing a shadowy demon who claims that it saved him and now he owes a debt of one life a month. Dylan has a hard time believing this at first, but then he grows deathly ill near the end of thirty days so he reluctantly decides that it’s better to kill some bad people than die himself.

Unfortunately, he quickly learns that being a vigilante killing bad people is tough gig. How do you get a gun that can’t be traced? Or how do you find a truly bad person who deserves to die? And killing people is way messier than it looks in the movies. Also, is that demon real or is Dylan just crazy?

I’m a big fan of Ed Brubaker and his partnership with Sean Phillips has produced some great stories. They have a real knack for taking genre stories and standing them on their heads, and the idea of having this depressed everyday kind of guy becoming a murderous vigilante is right in their wheelhouse. There’s no comic book glamor in this, and Dylan has to settle for a ski mask instead of a cool skull themed Punisher outfit while becoming a killer with a double life only complicates his personal problems.

Why it’s almost as if murder is wrong and engaging in it takes an immense toll even if you try to do it only to those who deserve it.

I’m looking forward into reading more of this title.

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