Wednesday, April 06, 2016

KILL OR BE KILLED: Announced Today, Coming This Summer!

As we reported earlier, Ed Brubaker has been planning big news at this year's Image Expo in Seattle, and the announcement was made earlier this afternoonKill Or Be Killed, his next project with Sean Phillips and Bettie Breitweiser, coming this summer.

In a press release on its official site, Image Comics has summarized all the new projects and provided promo images, including the one shown above.
KILL OR BE KILLED by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser 
Bestselling writer Ed Brubaker (THE FADE OUT, FATALE), artist Sean Phillips (THE FADE OUT, FATALE), and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser (THE FADE OUT, FATALE, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA) reunite for KILL OR BE KILLED, the ultimate pulp crime comic.
KILL OR BE KILLED is the story of a troubled young man who is compelled to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret, as it slowly begins to ruin 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 and Phillips have done together in their long partnership.
KILL OR BE KILLED is set to launch in Summer 2016.
Comics news sites covered the event, providing other details.
  • Comic Book Resources posted an lengthy, initial article with updates in real time, and they followed up with a brief post focusing on Kill Or Be Killed; in both, they reported that the book is an ongoing series affording a return to serialized, monthly comics.
  • Bleeding Cool notes that the book is evidently about the ripple effects of the actions taken by the protagonist, a vigilante who kills bad guys.
  • Comics Alliance provides the longest list of the title's influences, saying that the book is described as "Breaking Bad meets Death Wish," and it's also influenced by the Spider-Man comics of the Seventies and Ed Brubaker's own anger at the troubled present day.
  • In just the last few minutes, we've noticed a brief, bulleted report from The Outhousers, calling the title "a deconstruction of vigilantism" which debuts in August with the goal of "50 issues at least."
The Punisher has also been mentioned as an influence, and Ed Brubaker apparently describes the book as "almost a soap opera about murder."

[UPDATE, 4/7:  Ed Brubaker responded by Twitter to offer a minor correction, that "the Punisher, nor any other vigilante hero type was not an influence. If anything, the opposite."  We gather that's where the "deconstruction of vigilantism" comes in.]

And, courtesy the recent output of Image Comics' Twitter feed, we see that USA Today has the "exclusive" scoop on the series.  The story confirms that the title is an ongoing monthly, and the main character is evidently a good guy coerced to do terrible things, an introverted NYU grad student in his late twenties who is "forced to don a mask and kill one bad person every month," though a victim of his own choosing.

I'd say more from the USA Today story, but I'll invoke the cliché to encourage everyone to "read the whole thing."

The only other thing I'll add for now is our noting something new to the credits listed in that promo image, absent from the announcement and indeed the front covers for The Fade Out: alongside Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is Elizabeth Breitweiser.

The CBR piece notes Brubaker's praise for the colorist: '"I think she's one of the two or three best colorists in comics. She jumped on to help us with 'Fatale,' and almost immediately meshed with Sean. We basically said, 'Be our colorist forever.' She's pretty much a full-time member of our team now."

We're glad to see her officially join the team and get more credit for the often astounding work that she does.

As always, we'll post more information as we find it -- and as we look forward to Kill Or Be Killed.

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Blogger Andy Collins said...

Me too! Reminds me a little of 100 Bullets and I already know it's going to be good.

But where's VELVET? It's always delayed and no deluxe version either :-(

6:28 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

I was thinking much the same thing about 100 Bullets, a series I STILL need to get caught up on. If I got that book's (initial) premise right, it's that a series of people are each given the opportunity to exact revenge against a particular individual who wronged them, but Kill or Be Killed has a single protagonist coerced into a series of killings where he gets to choose the victim.

That will let us get to know the single killer a lot more intimately, but depending on exactly how and why he is being induced to do all this, I could see a *LOT* of parallels being drawn between this and 100 Bullets. Next to Brubaker/Phillips (B/P), Azzarello/Risso (A/R) is probably the second biggest duo in crime comics, so it's surprising that they haven't been compared and contrasted more already: it may have a lot to do with the style of crime comics that they do, as I would compare B/P more with Darwyn Cooke in comics and Michael Mann in film, and I would compare A/R more to Frank Miller's Sin City or Quintin Tarantino movies. The subject matter's the same, the presentation is worlds apart.


About Velvet, I saw on Twitter that the series has gotten behind schedule, but I'm hoping they'll get back on track soon, as a twisted spy story is particularly prone to losing steam with multiple delays.

Since this will be the first Brubaker/Epting creator-owned collaboration, I'm not 100% certain that they'll follow the Brubaker/Phillips pattern of releasing a deluxe hardcover, but IF they do, it probably won't be for a while.

For Fatale, the two deluxe volumes were only released after all the corresponding trade collections, and each was released sixteen months after the last issue contained in that volume.

11:38 AM  

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