Review: What Doesn’t Kill You #1

What Doesn’t Kill You, opens with where the story is heading rather than the beginning. As I’ve said in dozens of reviews I am not a fan of this style of opening because it’s so rarely used in a way that is interesting. Instead it’s a shortcut to storytelling in order to get the reader’s attention right away. That’s exactly what the creators are attempting here, they want your attention, but they inadvertently lose your attention when they try to hide the story’s gimmick. Spoiler ahead. The gist is that we meet a nurse in what I can only imagine is the worst hospital in the world. The doctors drink and party every night at the hospital, but our caring nurse isn’t so bad because he just smokes pot in the morgue with the guy that runs it. After our opening in which our main character asks his friend to stab him with a scalpel over and over until he does, we then see our main character doing his job and heading to the morgue. Eventually he clumsily falls and sends a scalpel into his throat, but we see it be pushed out and he lives. That’s his gimmick supposedly, he can’t be killed.

What Doesn't Kill You #1That’s nothing new. It’s not really something I find interesting instantly because it’s all about the story surrounding the immortality that’s actually interesting. Someone being immortal isn’t enough to care about them or a story. The problem I had is that the way the comic ends and the way it begins are inconsistent. When you show the ending first the goal is to work your way to that same point and you better be accurate. What Doesn’t Kill You, isn’t accurate. I can see where maybe some blood on our main character was colored differently in the open, but the fact remains there’s no blood on him or anywhere in the scene, but by the time we finish the comic and get to the scene just before the open… blood everywhere. Why they chose not to show any of the blood is beyond me since everything is out of context and we’d have no idea why he had blood on him until the end.

It’s why an opening like that is often times the wrong choice to start a story. Especially if you feel that where the story is going is going to spoil the ending/opening. If that’s the case, then start another way or just go for it and see if anyone notices. To be frank, I don’t think anyone picking up an indie comic would have stopped reading because they figured out one aspect of the story because of blood. If they do, they were never really going to read it to begin with.

Other than that the story is pretty generic. The pacing is all over the place and there’s entire scenes that will leave you wondering what’s going on and not in the “I need to read more kind of way.” There’s a female character introduced and not only does she come into the morgue and talk to herself, she leaves before our characters say anything to her. It’s as if she just stumbled in and started talking to them and they didn’t know who she was because lord knows their dialogue never acknowledged her.

The art is okay. There’s a lot of extra lines and the character’s all have 90s style hair. The backgrounds are all solid colors or gradients for the most part which leaves the overall comic looking bland and bare. The main character’s face also shifts a lot in details. Sometimes he looks clean shaven, other times he’s sporting a thick five o’clock shadow. Something that personally bothered me was how flat all of the hands looked. I’m not good at drawing hands in the least bit which is why it stood out to me, but they really lacked any kind of dimension.

This book is supposed to be a comedy and I can see the attempts at humor, I just didn’t find it funny. There’s mostly drug jokes and those will almost always fall flat with me. Some adjustments to the artwork and this story would definitely improve, but right now it’s made too many careless mistakes that distract from the story.

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What Doesn’t Kill You #1 Writer: Chris Nicholson Artist: Tanmoy Das Self-Published Price: $0.99 Format: Mini-Series; Digital

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