By Daniel Vlasaty
I like Dylan. I enjoy following him and his mental illness and the “mission” he finds himself on. He’s angsty and crazy and depressing and violent. The perfect combination for the kind of comic book I love to read. Which is why Kill or be Killed is always one of my favorite books. It’s one that I look forward to most each month. (Although, as I said in one of my previous reviews, I’m still not too down with the demon aspect of the book. I think this thing would work even better if Dylan was just doing his thing, killing for myself).
But I digress, because what I’m talking about here is Kill or be Killed #7. And this issue is not about Dylan, or him doing his thing. This issue is about Kira. This issue is about Kira’s family and her mother and all their issues. It’s also kind of about the book of photographs of all the dead family members they keep, dating back to the 1800’s. Yeah, they’re kind of messed up.
I never really cared about Kira when she was a more prominent character in the book. She was just Dylan’s friend and love interest. She was sleeping with him while also dating his best friend and roommate. But other than that there didn’t really seem to be much to her. We were never really given anything other than those little bits of information. She was flat and one dimensional. But with this issue, with opening all her old family wounds, we are given more about her. We are able to step away from Dylan for a second and see the world and this situation from someone else’s point of view.
I’m not usually one for family dramas. And that’s basically what this issue is. A lot of family drama. The first half is spent in Kira’s therapist’s office, with Kira talking about all the family that have died over the past 100+ years, and talking about her dying mother and why she hasn’t gone to the hospital to visit her. I think my problem with family dramas is that I have a family and I have to deal with family drama bullshit in my everyday life, so when I’m reading a book or a comic book or watching a movie I want to escape. I want something other than normal life. Shit, man, if I wanted to deal with family bullshit I’d actually show up to some of my family’s get-togethers.
I have decided that this will be the last issue of Kill or be Killed that I review here on the site. It’s not because I don’t like the book or anything like that. It’s the exact opposite, actually. Kill or be Killed has consistently been one of my favorite books since it started coming out, and I’m just getting kind of bored reviewing it month after month. How many times am I supposed to say that Brubaker’s writing is fucking top-notch and Phillips’ art is some of the best I’m seeing in comic books? How many times can I repeat myself before people stop giving a shit? I’m going to keep reading the book, for sure, but I don’t feel the need to continue to review it. I think my views on the series are pretty clear at this point.
But yeah, the writing in this issue is amazing, as it always is. Even if it is just about some, in my opinion, b-character’s family shit. Although, I will say that I’m pretty sure Brubaker is setting it up to make Kira a bigger part of the story now, moving forward. I am interested to see where he takes it from here.
The art, too, is as good as ever. It seems simpler than it has in past issues. When Kira is talking about the photographs in the book of pictures of dead family members the pages are mostly black with a few small photographs scattered here and there. And when Kira is talking to her therapist it is just back and forth close-ups on their faces. It’s like this through most of the issue. Simple and dark. With heavy shadows and solid backgrounds. It gives the book a tight and claustrophobic feel.
I want to say again that I love this book. And even though I might not have been super into this issue, I still though it was interesting to get more background on Kira. Although, I do have a fear that this was kind of a throwaway issue. I’m not really sure how all of that back and forth with Kira and her therapist is going to connect to the overall story. My thinking is that it probably isn’t going to.
Kill or be Killed #7