Written by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Sean Phillips
If you listen to Comics Dash, you know that Kill or Be Killed is a series that I either adore or find disappointing. I’m not entirely sure why that is, since it’s never poorly written, but it veers in directions I just don’t personally like—I’m not saying they’re the wrong directions.
#7 is doing that again, which is maybe a problem seeing as #6 did that too. I’m here for Dylan and his candy-store variety of neurosis. Shoving more and more characters in the picture just isn’t interesting to me.
To defend the issue: A long running series can’t function on one interesting character alone. I understand why we’re getting that cop from #6 and now Kira in #7.
To attack the issue though, I don’t think this is the right way to introduce Kira. The comic opens up with her talking to her therapist about her family problems, and it all feels like a lot of information in a short amount of space. It reminds me of Ohara’s introduction in Wayward #6. I like the character, and I get the want to get readers up to speed right away, but some of this doesn’t feel necessary. It also goes on too long.
I have to wonder what the end goal here is. Dylan is the one that must kill or be killed, and he’s very much moved on from Kira. I understand where the cop fits in on all of this, but the ex girlfriend? This really isn’t the kind of story to feature a love triangle.
The good news is that Kira herself is off to a good start. I certainly don’t hate her, and if she’s going to be around, it’s nice to know she’s got just as many problems as Dylan. The conversation she has with her sick mother is especially great for all of the wrong reasons. The nonsense she gets into at the end of the issue is also quite nice, even if a little hard to believe.
The artwork is also as good as it’s always been, with a heavy emphasis on black and contrasting brights. Dylan seems to have more red in his panels, but Kira is all about the blue. Gee, I wonder if that hints at anything!
All in all, this and the last issue feel like necessary evils. KobK thinks it needs more characters, and now we have them. With that out of the way, they can start interacting, and hopefully, we’ll be back to me adoring this series for the twisted, dark, edgy glory that I know it can be.