Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1

Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1

The bestselling team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (The Fade Out, Criminal, Fatale) return with Kill or Be Killed, Volume One, the twisted story of a young man forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret from destroying his life. Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, Kill or Be Killed is unlike anything Brubaker and Phillips have ev...

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Title:Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1
Author:Ed Brubaker
Rating:
ISBN:1534300287
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:128 pages

Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1 Reviews

  • Julia
    Aug 02, 2016

    Hmmm. You had me at vigilantism.

  • Morgan
    Feb 15, 2017

    I've read a lot of Brubaker and Phillips comics now. I have to say this one might be the weakest. I liked it enough to see what happens till the end, but I just found the story in this to be kind of basic compared to Brubaker's other works. I do think Phillips' art is getting better, that alone helps the book. I think the weakest part of the story is the fact it's set in modern times. I feel like this book appeals more to younger people in college dealing with "social" issues. For me, it just di

    I've read a lot of Brubaker and Phillips comics now. I have to say this one might be the weakest. I liked it enough to see what happens till the end, but I just found the story in this to be kind of basic compared to Brubaker's other works. I do think Phillips' art is getting better, that alone helps the book. I think the weakest part of the story is the fact it's set in modern times. I feel like this book appeals more to younger people in college dealing with "social" issues. For me, it just didn't fit in with a story about killing people because some demon told you too. I hope this book get better.

  • David Schaafsma
    Feb 23, 2017

    I read all of this in single issues I actually bought, one by one. It's a comic about a schleppy guy, Dylan, a sometime half-assed grad student whose life is not going anywhere, who loves his best friend, a woman who is dating his roommate. Not interested in this guy? I know what you mean. Loser. And then he tries to end his life but is given another chance by a demon who says he can keep alive if he kills some deserving jerk every month of his life hereafter. Or maybe it's not a demon, maybe he

    I read all of this in single issues I actually bought, one by one. It's a comic about a schleppy guy, Dylan, a sometime half-assed grad student whose life is not going anywhere, who loves his best friend, a woman who is dating his roommate. Not interested in this guy? I know what you mean. Loser. And then he tries to end his life but is given another chance by a demon who says he can keep alive if he kills some deserving jerk every month of his life hereafter. Or maybe it's not a demon, maybe he's just a vigilante.

    The tone is very different, much grittier, than The Fade Out, this team's most recent triumph, so it takes a bit of getting used to, but in that comic noir there were also a collection of ne'er-do-wells, screw-ups. These two comics are differently awesome, I would say. I cannot wait to read on as the train wreck steadily and inexorably continues to pile up before my eyes. SO good.

  • Richard Vialet
    Jan 24, 2017

    Dylan is a depressed grad student and kind of a pussy, pining over his best friend Kira. He decides to end it all by jumping off a building and then miraculously survives, with a whole new love for life. But then he realizes that in exchange for his life, he's sold his soul to a demon who demands that he kill one deserving person every month, as mandatory rent for living his own life.

    The whole idea of the Faustian deal with the demon felt a little lazy and contrived, but what it leads to, a youn

    Dylan is a depressed grad student and kind of a pussy, pining over his best friend Kira. He decides to end it all by jumping off a building and then miraculously survives, with a whole new love for life. But then he realizes that in exchange for his life, he's sold his soul to a demon who demands that he kill one deserving person every month, as mandatory rent for living his own life.

    The whole idea of the Faustian deal with the demon felt a little lazy and contrived, but what it leads to, a young man forced into reluctant vigilantism, is really engaging. How do you decide who is deserving of death? How do you handle dealing with a gun for the first time? How do you keep your secret life hidden from your friends? How do you handle it when your victims fight back? These are a few of the questions I found asking myself while taking this ride with Dylan.

    This is the latest on my adventures delving into Brubaker's work with artists Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser, and this, his most recent series, has lots of potential to grow in different ways as the series goes on, and I'm excited to be there to see it.

  • Sam Quixote
    Nov 18, 2016

    Dylan is a 28 year old grad student who decides to commit suicide because some girl doesn’t like him – aww, poor widdle baby! Except, at the last moment, a demon saves his life! There’s a price to his second chance though and Dylan must kill someone who deserves to die every month otherwise the demon will take his life. Dylan must… Kill or Be Killed!

    Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ latest original series isn’t bad but it’s unfortunately not of the same high quality as their last one, The Fade Out

    Dylan is a 28 year old grad student who decides to commit suicide because some girl doesn’t like him – aww, poor widdle baby! Except, at the last moment, a demon saves his life! There’s a price to his second chance though and Dylan must kill someone who deserves to die every month otherwise the demon will take his life. Dylan must… Kill or Be Killed!

    Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ latest original series isn’t bad but it’s unfortunately not of the same high quality as their last one, The Fade Out.

    The opening sequence where a masked lunatic shoots up an apartment building is exciting and instantly grabs you, as do similarly intense scenes elsewhere in the book. The setup is intriguing too – is the demon real or is Dylan just crazy in the coconut and created the demon as an excuse to act out his darkest desires, a la Fight Club? Brubaker cleverly drops subtle hints throughout to make either explanation viable which keeps you guessing.

    Sean Phillips’ art is fantastic as usual and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colours complement his style perfectly. The snowy scenes in particular were beautiful as was the stark, wintry Coney Island, and the murders are very graphic and gruesome. It’s a minor quibble but a couple of times the character models looked a bit disproportionately drawn, like the perspective wasn’t quite there. And, though this approach isn’t used all the time, I’m not a fan of the layout where you’ve got a full page illustration and a white column of text along the side. It feels more like reading an illustrated novel than a comic.

    Dylan annoyed me. It’s hard to like someone who’s always feeling sorry for themselves and, after a couple of issues of listening to his inner monologue, he came off as a whiny bitch. I also didn’t like how much focus there was on the uninteresting love triangle between him, his flatmate Mason and his bestie Kira. Besides the cheesy soap opera angle, nearly every time Mason and Kira were together, Mason was dragging Kira into his room for a bang sesh! It got to be almost comical. Dylan and Kira walk into the apartment, Mason’s there, within moments he’s hauling Kira off who looks forlornly at Dylan but doesn’t stop him, and Dylan looks torn up. All to repeatedly underline that Dylan’s in love with a messed up girl – it was way too heavy-handed.

    The series concept is Brubaker/Phillips’ real-world take on the vigilante genre: what if an ordinary guy was forced to kill, how would he go about that, etc. But Brubaker’s approach here is a bit of a cop out. Dylan remembers his dad’s old gun and his family happens to live a short train ride away so he gets a weapon too easily. I know very little about guns but don’t they require maintenance? Dylan’s gun hasn’t been used in years, maybe even decades, yet it fires perfectly the first time he uses it?

    The contrivances continue. The problem with the “kill someone deserving” caveat is how do you know if someone is deserving when they’re a total stranger? So it’s awfully convenient that Dylan happens to remember a bad dude from his childhood, who also happens to live nearby and who is absolutely a scumbag, to be his first. Only afterwards is the problem of finding deserving people addressed and poorly at that.

    Most of the vigilante material is great, as is the art, but I didn’t care for the romance guff nor did I expect so much of it in a book called Kill or Be Killed! Ed Brubaker did enough to hold my interest though I didn’t love it like some of his and Sean Phillips’ other comics – it’s still worth a look for fans of this creative team just don’t expect their best work.

  • Ivan
    Dec 26, 2016

    Brubaker and Philips, I think that's currently my favorite duo in comicbook world. Blurb says

    ,I feel like that's not entirely true . While main ingredient is different all spices and cooking method are the same as in Criminal. It's still character driven crime story with bleak atmosphere and just the right amount of pathos.

  • Donovan
    Jan 20, 2017

    . Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser are unstoppable.

    This is Brubaker at his best. Brutal and honest, violent and beautiful, we learn of the tragic but somehow noble life of Dylan, failure turned grad student turned killer. Phillips' art is photorealistic, capturing the darkness of New York and its people in exquisite detail. And Breitweiser's muddy colors are sublime.

    Crime. Dark characters. Love triangle. Demons. This is absolute p

    . Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser are unstoppable.

    This is Brubaker at his best. Brutal and honest, violent and beautiful, we learn of the tragic but somehow noble life of Dylan, failure turned grad student turned killer. Phillips' art is photorealistic, capturing the darkness of New York and its people in exquisite detail. And Breitweiser's muddy colors are sublime.

    Crime. Dark characters. Love triangle. Demons. This is absolute pulp brilliance. Thanks to Image Comics for the free galley!

  • karen
    Jan 25, 2017

    oh, great - ANOTHER serialized graphic novel for me to be hooked on...

    review to come.

  • Relstuart
    Jan 30, 2017

    Enjoyable premise. I'll buy the next volume to see how this continues.

  • Laura D
    Feb 11, 2017

    After an interesting start, with the protagonist, Dylan, attempting to kill himself only to be saved by a demon, the rest of the book didn't keep up. Dylan was annoying with his constant monologues whining about how sad he is or how shit his life is. The love triangle between Dylan, his flatmate Mason and his best friend Kira became plain stupid after every visit Kira made to the apartment she would just sleep with Mason while Dylan sat looking all torn up.