Kill Or Be Killed #1

Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: August 3, 2016 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 31 User Reviews: 54
9.0Critic Rating
8.8User Rating

The bestselling team of ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS (THE FADE OUT, CRIMINAL, FATALE) launch their new monthly series: KILL OR BE KILLED, the twisted story of a young man who is forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret as it slowly ruins his life and the lives of his friends and loved ones. Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, KILL OR BE KILLED is unlike anything BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS have ever done.

  • 10
    Lizard Lounge - Neil Bason Sep 1, 2016

    A bleak, brutal and bloody brilliant opening shot in an exciting new series. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Pop Culture Uncovered - Brett I Aug 4, 2016

    As you can probably tell, I cannot say enough good about this issue. Comics, on the whole, will be hard pressed to produce an issue this year that I enjoy more than this. The team has done it again. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Dustin Cabeal Jul 11, 2016

    The other day I was having a hard time figuring out what books from Image I was even reading anymore. The answer was actually kind of startling because I couldn't come up with one consistent series that I follow. Thankfully with titles like Snotgirl and Kill or be Killed coming out, I will once again be diving into the Image pool. I just hope that more titles of this quality are on the way. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Capeless Crusader - Jeremy Radick Jul 11, 2016

    Kill or be Killed #1 is a perfect debut issue, presenting a compelling and timely protagonist whose mindset is unsettling and troubling even as the reader understands the source of his anger. Filled with ambiguity, great art and grittily tough thrills, it promises to deliver yet more essential reading from the Brubaker/Phillips team. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Spectrum - Shawn Hoklas Aug 6, 2016

    I think Kill or Be Killed will be another Brubaker and Phillips critical hit, but I feel as though Breitweister's name should be right alongside them and it's great to see that represented on this issue's cover. This is a must read and if you're a fan of any of these creator's past works, you probably already know that. If you've never read something from this team before, jump on board or try any of the series I mention above, all available in collected editions. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Horror DNA - James Ferguson Aug 13, 2016

    Kill or Be Killed is so friggin' good.  It presents a premise that grips you so hard you'll be gasping for breath.  Coupled with gorgeous artwork and stunning colors makes it a book you simply cannot miss.  Buy it. Read it.  Thank me later. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Nerds On The Rocks - Logan Dalton Aug 3, 2016

    Kill or Be Killed #1 is yet another comic book masterpiece from the team of Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser. It succeeds as both a re-framing of the vigilante genre for the 2010s as an examination of how toxic masculinity poisons contemporary American society, a no holds barred character study, and an example of how changing the layout of a page can drastically change how we view a character. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Slackjaw Punks - Regan Lorie Aug 8, 2016

    There isnt much more I can say without giving away way more than Id like. If you want something a little grittier, more real and intense than the usual comic fare, I urge you to read this book, and trust youll love it as much as I did. Read Full Review

  • 10
    All-Comic - Matthew Strackbein Aug 3, 2016

    If youre already a fan then you know all of this by now, but be reassured that were in the same good hands as always with Kill or be Killed. If youre just getting into the duo of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, then get on over to your local comic shop today and grab this one. Chances are pretty solid they ordered the book, but theres no telling how long itll stay on the shelf! Read Full Review

  • 10
    Outright Geekery - Joshua Rathbun Jul 9, 2016

    This is something I've been waiting to read for a long time, since I saw the announcement at Image Expo back in April. But again, I'm sure you've read The Fade Out, Fatale, or picked up the recent Criminal one-shot. I shouldn't need to sell you on this. But if I have to, I would want you to know that these are creators at the top of their game doing something pretty special in the medium. Pick up Kill Or Be Killed. And if you haven't picked up their previous work, then shame on you because you are missing out on some exciting work. Read Full Review

  • 10 - John McCubbin Aug 2, 2016

    Kill or Be Killed #1 is easily one of the best books you'll pick up this week, being a must have. Not only do the creative team introduce us to a bold and lively concept, but the way they add emotion and depth to this allows it to become something truly special. Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - James Cassara Aug 22, 2016

    This is first class stuff by the most inventive team in the field, three creators (Breitweiser's coloring is an integral element) who work together seamlessly. It's not for everyone, and I admit the incessant use of the "F" bomb seems overdone. But such slight misgivings aside, I find myself counting the days until issue two arrives at my local comics shop. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    The Lost Lighthouse - thelostlighthouse Aug 4, 2016

    It's rare to have so much trust in a creative team in comics that you pick up a new book without looking into it at all. It is even rarer for that book to be even better than you expected from them.This is comic books at their best. Check it out at your local comic shop or digitally now. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Bounding Into Comics - Seth DeHaan Aug 8, 2016

    Kill or Be Killed #1 is a fantastic first issue, and fans of Brubaker and Phillips' previous work will not be disappointed. The theme of vigilante justice is not the most original, but there's a twist that really makes me want to keep reading to learn the truth of Dylan's situation, and what consequences his vigilante actions will bring. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Comicosity - Nikki Sherman Aug 3, 2016

    Kill Or Be Killed #1 is a fantastic opening issue. This series has it all: action, an intriguing mindfulness, and passionate illustration. I was engrossed in every panel on every page, and this issue stuck with me as I continued throughout my day. There are a lot of elements here that work well together, and I can't wait to see the magic happen again next month. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Doom Rocket - Courtney Ryan Aug 4, 2016

    Brubaker and Phillips have accomplished horror noir before (in Fatale and, to an extent,The Fade Out), though Kill or Be Killedprovides this team withan unique opportunity " to outdo themselves. Brubaker's heavy narration doesn't curb the page-turning effect of the story; in fact, the end of the first issue arrives far too soon. With current-day external threats looming over an existentially strained culture, a comic that deconstructs vigilantism couldn't be more timely. I can't wait to see where Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser take this one. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Watch - John Jack Dec 3, 2017

    I love this series, its been building up so well, I can't wait for the next issue. The demon is back! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Newsarama - Justin Partridge Aug 4, 2016

    Backed by confident and moody artwork, Kill or Be Killed #1 zigs when you expect it to zag in the best way and stands as another strong debut issue from a consistently great creative team. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    AIPT - Nick Nafpliotis Aug 2, 2016

    By the end of the issue, we are fully invested in Dylan's journey, even if it ends up going down a very dark path. We know our character and we understand his world, but there are still so many questions left that beg for answers"and a second issue, which should absolutely stay on your pull list for next month Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    We The Nerdy - Jean-Luc Botbyl Aug 3, 2016

    KoBK is a book that I'm really excited to see the future of. The first issue ends just as it was starting to get truly great, but the set up is more than interesting enough to have hooked me. I don't know that I like any of the characters, but I am invested in their story. Plus, I'll read anything just for Sean Phillips' work. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    IGN - Jeff Lake Aug 4, 2016

    When Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser get together, good things happen. Their latest collaboration looks to continue that winning streak, the debut propelled by its unique premise and solid early characterization. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Spartantown - Enrique Rea Aug 3, 2016

    There's more to 'Kill or Be Killed' that the title represents. Brubaker and Phillips have somehow created what should be a standard vigilante story into a character-driven drama that is as compelling as their past work. You'll be hooked after the first issue if only to find out what's next and how Brubaker pulls off this ambitious and unexpected story. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    ComicWow!TV - Bhavna Bakshi Aug 10, 2016

    This is a great start to a promising series. Dylan has given us the history of how he became the murderous man he is today, and I can’t wait to see how Dylan handles his life from this point on. With a creative team like this, Kill or be Killed is a must-read. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    ComicList - Eric Bradach Aug 6, 2016

    Kill or be Killed is off to a strong start thanks to its creative team and intriguing premise. Brubaker knows how to pace a narrative as well as add great characterizations to his characters through interactions. He also allows Phillips to take over telling the story, as he understands comic books is as much a visual medium as it is a written one. The shift in ingredients is a bit jarring and could distract some readers, however the positives in this debut chapter are engaging enough to warrant a recommendation. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Word Of The Nerd - Bryan Brown Aug 4, 2016

    Kill Or Be Killed #1 is very well written and illustrated, but it's hard to know whether it will have mass appeal for an ongoing series in spite of having everything going for it. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Impulse Gamer - Dana Folkard Sep 28, 2016

    The first two issues of Kill or be Killed so far have given us a tantalising taste of things to come. The dark and unexpected plot twist has added a whole new and interesting dimension to this story of murder. Im curious to see where we will be taken and what we will see Dylan do and his transformative evolution as the story progresses. Kill or be Killed is a unique thriller and Im looking forward to seeing where this wicked story is headed. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Big Comic Page - Chris Bennett Aug 2, 2016

    That said, this is a very promising and solid first issue of a series that's bound to be a runaway hit for the iconic duo. The biggest praise I can give it is I'm going to go out tomorrow and buy a physical copy, because I'm certain that it'll be even more glorious in print. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The GCRN - Daniel Clark Aug 12, 2016

    By any means Kill or Be Killed is set up to be another solid series for Image and further proof that Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips make one phenomenal team. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Aug 2, 2016

    Given Brubaker's previous works, it's not surprising to see the writer playing the long game here - when you're this solid as a creator and working with this strong of a creative team, you don't need to play it flashy. Yet there are plenty of great moments for Kill or Be Killed, and if Brubaker and company can keep adding new twists to make it different from comic books' other mopey protagonists, this could be a book that could blow you away. Read Full Review

  • 7.8
    Comicsverse - BestBrianna Aug 5, 2016

    Despite the fact that this plot feels somewhat formulaic (lost guy + unrequited love + self-pity = accident which leads to sudden superheroic life), there are unique facets of the plot that keep the reader interested. In the end, Dylan is left even more lost than before. He's held captive in a life of murder and involuntary vigilantism, devoted to what's right for all the wrong reasons. Though Brubaker focuses more on building this world than inhabiting it, the world he's created is undoubtedly intriguing. It's dark. It's confusing and unfair. It's thrilling. It's fun. It'sscary.It is, indeed, a “deconstruction of vigilantism.” Read Full Review

  • 6.5
    Multiversity Comics - Matthew Garcia Aug 4, 2016

    I think its time for Brubaker and Phillips to branch out a bit. Read Full Review

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