At first glance Killer of Men is a little bit like any reformed killer, turned into vigilante hit man killer type story. Yeah I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the point is it’s a hit man story. Don’t get me wrong, it does the genre very well. The creators understand the genre and find a formula to use that works for the story. Along the way they throw their curves and twists so that you’re not so aware of the formula that it’s boring. We meet our leading man Abriam as he thinks about his time in Iraq in which he ended up killing a group of kids. He doesn’t really know why and even his superiors seemed a bit surprised that he would kill kids in cold blood. Now he makes up for it by killing bad men for money. He’s in Vegas with his business associate and they take a job to kill a dude that runs a few Vegas casinos for the boys back in Chicago.
We get a quick introduction of Mr. Klaus as he enters the club in his casino and some dude bumps into him and ends up being killed for it. Not there, but they kill him later and all the while the guy can’t believe he’s going to lose his life for bumping into someone. Harsh dude.
After that we meet some other key players to the story in the form of a couple of FBI agents that are tracking Abriam thinking that he’s a serial killer. He kind of is I guess when you consider he’s only killing really scummy people.
After that Abriam is off to work to chase out the rats so he can kill them. He heads to see one of Klaus’ boys, but of course he’s stopped at the front door. He tells them he’s there to see their boss and to go tell him, but they give him attitude of course. He decides to rip the throat out of one of them and tells the other guy to go tell his boss since his friend can’t talk anymore. Great stuff let me tell you. The dude doesn’t make it far before Abriam decides to just go tell the boss himself and leaves both men to die.
That should give you a pretty clear idea of the action and dark humor that this story has. Almost everyone has a cheeky line of dialogue which honestly makes the story pretty fun.
The narrative has good pacing. You don’t have to wait around forever for the final confrontation; in fact I was surprised by how naturally it arrived. Not everything about the story was necessary. The FBI agents served no purpose and they broke a lot of rules which made me question their involvement in the story even more. It was as if the writer’s felt that he needed to be chased by the FBI, but he didn’t.
The business associate was also a little out of place since we follow him on a side job and its only purpose was to make him look like an evil bastard. Granted this helped make his role in the ending believable, but I don’t think he was needed there either. The story just ends up having too many characters and not enough for all of them to do other than die when needed. Sadly not all of them die either.
The art is realistic and captures the violent and dark humor of the story. The action is easy to follow which is of course important with it being an action story. The guns and cars are realistic looking and all of the settings are very detailed. The character designs at time were a bit rough. The business associate looked different each time we saw him, but you figured out who he was after a minute.
If you like action stories, hit man stories or just dark humor and violence then Killer of Men is definitely for you. It has some room to improve for what I imagine will be the sequel, but this first volume is an entertaining story.
Writers: Chris Calkins, Alexander Storm & Julian Brantley Artist: Manuel Martin Price: $8.99 Format: Tradepaper Back Website