Kill or Be Killed #6 Review


By Ed Brubaker, Sean Philips, Elizabeth Breitweiser

Dylan looks down the barrel of a gun, literally, and decides the rules don’t matter anymore…

Brubaker and Philips’ latest series continues to impress, with Dylan’s causal and open narration, Philips stellar art and Brubaker’s deliberate plotting. This is sort of cool-down issue, because after Dylan escapes a brush with the NYPD he’s not looking for another one. Instead, he rekindles things with an ex-girlfriend while a few cities over a policewoman connects one of Dylan’s previous kills with his latest in New York City.

As I said, this series continues to be a worthwhile one to follow month in and month out. It reminds me strongly of Dexter without necessarily being Dexter. Both follow unassuming young men who murder people on a regular basis and try not to get caught, compelled by a dark inner voice and a mad-on for people “who deserve to die” I don’t know if Dexter Morgan ever murdered a crooked finance manager, but that’s what makes Dylan different: he’s a bit more looser and relatable.

What can I say about Sean Philips’ art that hasn’t been said before and more eloquently by others? It’s gorgeous and realistic without being hyper-detailed, with engaging storytelling and background design. He remains a unique talent among the many, many, names out there. Philips can making talking heads engaging, and that is something.

When it came time to choose TWF, it came down to this and TMNT #67. It being a cool-down issue, it couldn’t top the action in TMNT but it could’ve won me over by adding a bit more to the new character Detective Sharpe that appears in this issue. She has a troubled (tragic?) past, works in an overwhelming male and older department, and genuinely believes she can make a difference with her work, ect. It struck me as a cliched character description, which may have been the point but didn’t help me. Of course it’s her first appearance, so Brubaker has to hold things back so she has more to do in the coming stories. Yet, there wasn’t enough here to wow me anyway.

I think part of it is her just leaking information to the press to accomplish her goal and stick it to her boss, realistic? Sure. The sign of a competent police officer? Sharpe did try to do things by the book to no avail. I found myself coming Detective Sharpe to Deputy Solverson from Fargo Season 1. Deputy Solverson is in line for a promotion to Chief when her boss steps down, however he dies and the department appoints someone older and dumber instead. Solverson wasn’t wholly prepared to be chief since she had more to learn about investigation and instinct, but her talents are clear and established even after she loses out. Like Sharpe, Solverson also fails to convince her boss that he’s wrong about the crime they’re investigating. However, Solverson teams up with another cop and they put their heads together to find new evidence. Sharpe leaking the info to the press after a few misses is still logical, but I would’ve liked seeing her work a bit more in an actual police capacity before giving up on that.

Kill or be Killed #6 is still a great issue, showing the fallout of Dylan’s actions and tying together events from previous issues. He’s about to get a lot more attention from the wrong people and I’m excited to see what Brubaker has in store for him and Detective Sharpe.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

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