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Kill or Be Killed #20 Review

Comic Books

Kill or Be Killed #20 Review

The grand finale to KILL OR BE KILLED! Will Dylan find a way to live his secret life as a vigilante, or will he throw away the mask?

Ugh. It’s never fun to watch your current favorite series come to an end. Thankfully, Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (art), and Elizabeth Breitweiser (colors) have consistently churned out fantastic issues for the last two years. Let’s see if they can stick the landing.

First Read Reactions

  • “This can’t be the way I die.”
  • Not sure if I should feel happy, betrayed, or confused–or all three.
  • To be fair, that wall really does work well for a flatscreen.
  • That looks heroic…maybe a little too heroic…
  • “I hate this world so much.”

The Verdict

Wow. What a punch to the gut.

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I mean that in a good way. Kill or Be Killed #20 wraps up the series with a conclusion that’s equal parts poignant and tragic. While Dylan deconstructs our ideas of what it means to be a hero, Kira deconstructs our ideas about why what Dylan did was bad. The serves as a stark reminder of the grey spaces between right and wrong, both in Dylan’s psyche as well as our own convictions.

Phillips and Breitweiser do a fantastic job bringing the subtleties of Brubaker’s script to life. They make many of the super hero homages you’ll catch just obvious enough without appearing ridiculous. They also do a great job transition from…well, I really can’t say. You’ll see what I mean when you read the issue.

If there’s a downside to be found, it’s that the book’s two major plot twists are fairly predictable. Thankfully, they are also narratively satisfying. It also leaves just enough open to interpretation without feeling like a complete copout on some of the series’ biggest questions.

Do I wish Kill or Be Killed could keep going for a while longer? Of course. But I’m also glad that the creative team was able to end the series the way they wanted to–which ends up being a conclusion worthy of one of the best comics I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

Kill or Be Killed #20 Review
Kill or Be Killed #20
Is it good?
A tragic and poignant conclusion worthy of one of Image's best series.
Phillips and Breitweiser do a fantastic job bringing the subtleties of Brubaker's script to life, particularly the various super hero homages.
Brubaker's script serves as a stark reminder of the grey spaces between right and wrong, both in Dylan's psyche as well as our own convictions.
The ending resolves most of the series' big questions while also leaving just enough open to interpretation without feeling like a copout.
The issue's two big twists are fairly obvious (but also narratively satisfying).
9
Great

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