blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Kill or Be Killed (2016) #8


I wish I hadn’t made the fumetti joke about last issue and the photographs; in this issue, when there are newscasts, artist Sean Phillips just copies and pastes some video captures. Sigh.

This issue’s back to Dylan’s perspective, starting before Kira’s experiences last issue but covering them. When she’s hiding out in his closet during his nookie with his new girlfriend—no longer ex-girlfriend Daisy—he smells her perfume, which kind of lessens the previous issue’s impact. Probably reads terribly in the trade. Going back to Dylan as narrator just reminds how well the comic works without him, especially since he’s so unreliable at this point. He even lies to Daisy about his dad committing suicide, which seems odd given they used to date, and so it’d be a long-term lie? Not to mention Dylan’s never told the reader he’s schizophrenic; we had to find out from Kira last issue.

It’s about a month since his last victim, and the NYPD is cracking down on white guys in hoodies with backpacks. I’m not sure what’s more unrealistic, the NYPD actually cracking down on white guys or the idea they’d do anything if they found him. Copaganda stories have been precarious since the advent of smartphones, but they’re positively molding these days.

Dylan identifies what seems to be a good target—a lobbyist who jobs in Central Park—but in addition to the cops being deployed like there’s some eleven-year-old Black kid accused of stealing a pack of gum, he’s also minus his (fake) medication. His dealer isn’t getting back to him as promptly as usual, which ties into two issues ago’s cliffhanger with the Russian mob. At least Brubaker’s moving things along and not letting the B-plots fester.

It’s far from the worst issue—Dylan and Daisy have an actual conversation about things, they don’t just talk at each other—and Phillips’s art doesn’t have any of the more significant problems, but it is a letdown from last issue. It’s also weird the lady cop angle from a couple issues ago doesn’t continue here either. You usually see this kind of erratic plotting in something with creative changes, not creator-owned works.

But whatever… in for a penny and all that.

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