blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Kill or Be Killed (2016) #12



I'm not sure how seriously one can take this issue with even the briefest historical context. There's a lengthy section of Dylan's narration where he talks about how he's not just some alpha who protected his woman from the wolves. Given Kira's Harry Potter costume, if it were written these days, it would feel like writer Ed Brubaker wanted to in-virtue signal.

But then there's the The Edge thing. The Edge is an Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins action movie from the nineties, written by David Mamet. It apparently greatly inspired Dylan. He talks about it at length, with Brubaker again unable to make the narration not sound condescending or acknowledge his readers might have seen The Edge. It's… amateurish writing at best. If you told me Brubaker was putting his name on someone else's script at this point, I'd believe it. It's embarrassing for an experienced writer who was never so desperate with "pop" culture references before.

The A plot is Dylan deciding he's going to take out the Russian mob "family." I mean, I'm not an organized crime expert—though Dylan researched them, so he ought to be at least informed, but he's not either. Okay, a quick Google says "family" is not the term, so Brubaker couldn't be bothered to Google, which also explains a lot.


He's going to take them out so he and Kira can be together safely. They go to a Halloween party together and have a great time and pointless filler conversations. But, of course, he's too busy thinking about how he's Tarzan and she's Jane, so he's not listening to her either. The emphasis is on the "going to" take them out. This issue's just bridging.

The art's fine? No significant oversized head issues from Sean Phillips here, which is something of an achievement since it's usually in scenes with Kira and Dylan. The Dylan-in-disguise scenes are a little silly, but why wouldn't they be?

There's also a weird copaganda bent to the story: vigilante Dylan just sees himself doing the job the police can't. Kill or Be Killed was never particularly forward-thinking, but if Brubaker makes a swing, it turns out to be a big miss.

Or maybe I'm just misremembering, and The Edge isn't laughably bad.


Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: