'Epic Kill Volume 1:' Advance TPB Review


Epic Kill V1Epic Kill reads like the script of next summer’s action-packed blockbuster.  It throws out action quickly and unapologetically from the get go, and don’t expect it to stop.  In almost any other setting than the sort of hack-and-slash action thriller Epic Kill aims to be, the initial plot reading would come across as cliché.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been introduced to an amnestic protagonist, only to have their past slowly revealed to me (and to them) in flashbacks, and it’s done well, we’ve seen it all before.  Additionally, the Japanese ninja/assassin/femme fatale idea is also old hat, so what I tried to glean was the ever elusive, “Why do I care about this one?”  

There are things, which stand out immediately, such as the wonderful hallucinations the lead character Song has when she first sees her enemies coming at her.  A shark floating down the hall, the men chasing her with wolf heads, sadly these little quirks start to disappear later in the story.  Song’s imagination, too, plays a role, as we see her slice, shoot, and explode people, we also see her thinking about doing it.  The reversal here isn’t tricky to spot, but it isn’t given to the reader either.  It’s a sort of misdirection, which I think would show well on the silver screen but has been outshone in other books.

The action sequences are definitely the selling point to this book.  The art is easy to follow and smart in the way it moves, but as I go through the violent imagery, despite it playing like a reel in my mind, I’m still stuck on my original question of, “Why do I care about this?”  The story contains nothing particularly earth shattering, and the political side story of the novel adds neither character depth nor a satirical political commentary.  Really, it was actually distracting at certain points, which confused the hell out of me.  If you’re going to give me a slicey, action thriller with a hot Asian assassin, don’t muddy the water by giving me a political debate.  Stick to your guns . . . and in this sense, I mean that as literally as possible.

I hate to be curt, but in the end, all I could think about was this.



Last modified on Friday, 21 June 2013 01:34

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