The single creative vision of Livio Ramondelli comes to a shocking and fitting conclusion that will satisfy.
There's a moment in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair when Rene Russo realizes what's happening and has this sly smile across her face. It's a moment of delight, for the character and the audience, as something really impressive is happening and watching it happen is super enjoyable.
This issue of the magnificent, brilliantly conceived Kill Lock is like that, because here the elusive question "why?" gets an answer and it's like a chef kiss gif.
Four robots have been sentenced by their unforgiving society to be bound to each other — if one dies, they all die. It's a mean spirited death sentence … with one very, very unexpected alternative. The four here — the unstoppably violent Wraith with a conscience, the drunkard Laborer wrestling with regret, the sadistic Artisan from the top echelons of their society and the Kid, guilty only of not meeting the society's expectations of perfection.
To dig to deeply into the happenings here or even the motivations therein would ruin one of the best, most wicked surprises in recent comics memory. Instead, let's say that Livio Ramondelli has, with only the help of David Mariotte as an editor and Tom B. Long on letters, completed a virtually perfect mini-series. It's almost like HBO's Watchmen in that every detail is exactly as it was at the beginning, but now it all means something so much more interesting. Do you have any idea how hard it is to do something like that? When you crank up the difficulty factor by making the characters robots and their faces losing most of the visual cues that artists can use to convey nuance or emotion and it's still all in there? Ramondelli deserves his roses for this freaking masterpiece.
Now, let's be clear, this is not a feel good story. It started by saying if one character dies, everybody dies, and virtually nobody lives forever, so there's a tragedy built in from the start. Still … this figured out all the angles and it's really, really good. RATING: BUY.
The Kill Lock works. An individual, or a pair, you may be able to hide and survive. Four cannot. When the Artisan, the Kid, the Wraith, and the Laborer reach the end of their journey, doom seems certain, unless … If one dies … they all do.
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 BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.