Kill Lock #5 Review: It's Some High-Grade Science Fiction

Kill Lock #5
With one issue to go, it's time for somebody to die ... but doesn't that mean EVERYBODY has to die?

If you're late to the game, here's the gag: four sentient robots have been sentenced and exiled due to crimes from their homeworld, doomed to stay relatively close to each other, and if one dies, they all die. One is a nearly impossibly powerful combatant who disobeyed a cruel order (Wraith), another a worker with an addiction that led to a terrible accident (Laborer), the third a psychopath of a class of robots made as geniuses (Artisan) and the fourth, an innocent child with a congenital disability that falls short of the society's need for perfection (the Kid).

Kill Lock #5 Review: High Grade Science Fiction
The cover of Kill Lock #5, published by IDW Publishing with the creative team of Livio Ramondelli and Tom B. Long.

Of course, these four misfits find their sentence intolerable and stumbled, some issues back, on a cure that they pursued with great fervency. That led them into, inevitably, a trap because anything that's too good to be true is almost always something Admiral Ackbar would find problematic. At the other end of their struggle is another quartet of Kill Locked robots who have a plan. What nearly none of them know is that there's yet another plan in process, and it's the nastiest one of all.

Livio Ramondelli does everything on this book aside from letters, which come from Tom B. Long. To be honest, the "evil" Artisan speaks using a lettering font that's a little hard to read but can be parsed with very close attention (the Blackletter-styled font used to show the Wraith's speech is a little easier to make out). In any case, there's a fight scene between … well, if you've ever read Uber, imagine a battleship class fighter against two cruisers. This is like that. The fighting is a little hard to make out, as well.

It's very important to stop and notice that neither of these is even remotely bad enough to slow down how doggone good this book is. The wonderful, evil twist ending is a masterstroke, the fact that literally every page and every indignation has led to exactly that moment … it's poetic and brilliant, really. This is high-grade science fiction with deep emotional undercurrents. With one issue left, it's a nailbiter to see what crazy thing will happen next.

The Kill Lock #5 (of 6)
Livio Ramondelli (w & a & c)
Run down. Beat up. On their last legs. The Linked know that this is their final chance to find a cure for The Kill Lock. Face-to-face with the last hope for salvation, will it be relief or pain? If one dies … they all do.

About Hannibal Tabu

Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on, and more information can be found at his website,
Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at

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