Kill or Be Killed #20 Review

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser

This was the final issue of Kill or be Killed, and this was a perfect send off for the series.  The one thing that will be missed from this series though, is Dylan along with his excellent storytelling.  His storytelling ability is on full display in this issue.  Dylan can be brutally honest, but he can also be super unreliable. In this issue, he speaks honestly about death.  He says that death can be senseless and sudden, which is most certainly true if one sits and thinks about it.  Of course, this issue wouldn’t be the same is Dylan didn’t pull the rug from underneath the readers one last time.

Dylan loves to have fun at the reader’s expense, and boy did he have fun. When this issue opens up, Dylan is lying in the snow bleeding because the Russians shot him. As the issue progresses, it is assumed that Dylan survived his shootout with the Russians.  He is seen waking up in the hospital, the cops using his death as a cover to catch the Russians, he and Kira enjoying life, and Detective Lily even tips Dylan off about a cop who is an informant for the Russian mob.  All of this seems believable, but it turns out that none of it is true, and Dylan is truly dead. Only Dylan could pull of something like this, and he pulls it off magnificently.  It would’ve been cool for Dylan to pull through and survive, but death is senseless and sudden, and not even he can avoid it.

Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser killed it with Kill or be Killed. Every issue was a must read, and it was certainly a joy to look at because of Phillips and Breitweiser. Brubaker did an excellent job developing Dylan as a character.  He made such strides as a character, but I suppose killing bad people because a demon told you to would do that.  Kill or be Killed also had an amazing supporting cast whether it be Kira, Detective Lily, or his ex-friend Mason.  They all play a vital role in Dylan’s life at some point and were not throw away characters. Kill or be Killed deserves the hardcover treatment, and I will add it to my Fade Out collection once it is all collected.  Oh, and to cap it all off, Brubaker and Phillips show a sneak peek of their next project, and that comes out in October. Be sure to check that out as well.


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