Kill Box is one of those comics that has crept up on me; One of the things I love about approaching new series is the possibilities that it can bring. Kill Box is set in the present day and is a real world game set within a four-mile radius. Inside this “Kill Box” players will fight to the death until a victor is found. The winner of which will receive $10m. Since this is a real-world game, non-players shouldn’t really be targeted, but if they’re killed in the crossfire, as long as it doesn’t bring attention to the game itself, which is highly secret, then that’s okay.
I know what you’re thinking… Hunger Games, Running Man, The Purge, parts of the Hostel franchise. This has been done a million times before. and it has, there’s no escaping the lack of originality here. However, I once read there was only really 10 stories in the world, and each of these 10 stories are rehashed and recycled – so I can forgive this recycled concept. But only if the characters are memorable, you care about the hero and the story is gripping.
Writer, Tom Riordan has cleverly set up the story quite nicely, over the first half dozen pages, the world that the reader is being dropping into unfolds at the right pace, we see the world inside the Kill Box, the casino, where players are betting on the game, how players are selected and their humanity (or lack thereof, in some cases).
We are introduced to psychopath Irwin Newstead, who’s back story is told through narration and, opinions from the casino. So far his is the most interesting; but issue #1 is all set up, but the characters haven’t really been established, the notion of the Kill Box is enough to have me come back for #2, but currently, the characters are not memorable, nor do I have a hero to care about.
The artwork by Nathan Gooden however is pretty good, I really like the black and white noir-esque feel it gives. It’s telling me I’m not going to trust any of this, and that’s a good thing. The problem herein is that this is not the genre for this art style and in my opinion, the artwork is wonderful, it just doesn’t fit this story.
The plot is undeserving; but there is scope for improvement.
Kill Box #1 is published by American Gothic Press and is available now.