COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE KILL SCREEN #1 & #2 / AUTHOR: MIKE GARLEY / ARTIST: JOSH SHERWELL / PUBLISHER: MIKEGARLEY.COM / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Zombie stories have been done to death so often that even saying that they have been done to death is a bit of a cliché. In order to grab the comic-buying public’s attention with a zombie story, it has to be something a bit special, and as per usual, this is doubly hard for indie comic creators. The Kill Screen doesn’t quite succeed in this goal, but it comes damned close.
Rather than a mysterious biological or supernatural element getting into the world and ruining it for everyone, the culprit behind the world of Kill Screen is the digital age. Like a computer virus, an unknown force has infected mankind turning our reality into something akin to a video game. Most people have been turned into violent monsters, set on only causing destruction. Some simply amble around (like zombies), others have split into ‘teams’ and run round killing each other. Essentially, the laws of First Person Shooter have been applied to the real world, and the result is that everything has gone to electronic hell. The lines between reality and gaming have blurred, and now the monsters bleed pixels.
The first story, ILOVE YOU, sets the scene up nicely, explaining the basic principles of the world and setting up the human tragedy that appears to be a key theme of this series. The second issue, CASCADE, is a more character-focussed tale, concentrating on the exhaustion and ennui that even a hero would suffer from if the world had devolved into a senselessly violent video game.
Mike Garley’s storytelling is solid here, and it’s a creative and imaginative world. We’ve only seen the first two issues so far, and it does feel as if the author is holding something back; there’s potential for real depth on multiple levels here. Still, Garley delivers non-stop action with real punch. Josh Sherwell’s art is clever, well executed, and suits the work very well, using the digital stylings of the genre and white space to maximum effect.
Overall, The Kill Screen is an excellent indie comic and despite its shambling zombie trappings, is worth a look.
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