Kill or Be Killed (2016) #20

Kbk20

Oh, my.

So, Kill or Be Killed does not have a bad ending.

Nope, not bad.

You see where I’m going?

What’s a thousand times worse than bad? Horrendous? Is horrendous enough? Kill or Be Killed has a horrendous ending. Writer Ed Brubaker does a greatest hits of lousy writing choices, including protagonist Dylan telling the reader all about narration. Oh, wait. I forgot. How did I forget.

It opens with a 9/11 missive.

How does something open with a 9/11 missive and get worse? I mean, you could read this comic and find out, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I also won’t spoil it. There are numerous spoil points in the issue, with Brubaker doing multiple 180s to keep the issue going because he doesn’t—and never did have—a story. It’s been too long since I’ve read it, and I’m not going back, but there’s a not zero chance it’s a riff on a Mark Millar-type story, specifically Wanted. Again, not worth going back.

Artist Sean Phillips sadly never reveals why he does the oddly missized heads. There are lots in the issue, but then the story goes into summary mode, and most of the art is just Phillips doing a New York City travelogue or a mob movie montage, and he’s got enthusiasm for those sequences. It’s the rest he’s checked out on.

Kill or Be Killed would be a terrible comic from any creator, but for Phillips and Brubaker? It’s the pits, and, somehow, it keeps on digging.

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