The Killer #7


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The Killer #7


  • Words: Matz
  • Art: Luc Jacamon
  • Inks: Luc Jacamon
  • Colors: Luc Jacamon
  • Story Title: Blood Ties, Part One
  • Price: $3.95
  • Release Date: Aug 6, 2008

The killer is laying low in Paris with enough money to retire and live a long quiet life. However, his girl has been hurt and that is the kind of thing that will set off a killer whether he wants out or not.

The Killer has taken a long time to get to this point. Between the long period of time between issues to begin with and the reorganization of the Archaia Studios house, a lesser book would have failed. A story that wasn’t as skillfully written would disappear from the reader’s memory. The thing that makes The Killer special is that it doesn’t go away. It resides in your head and gets under your skin.

It has been obvious from the beginning of this series, that the killer’s life is going to become a turbulent chaos. The cliché of the assassain who wants out is that it just isn’t possible. Knowing this, you still want the nameless hero to find peace. It is an odd thing, given the man’s cold heart and ruthless ability to kill for money. Yet Matz makes this guy human - whether it is through the relationship with a police officer in his building or the gnawing in the back of the professional’s mind that life should mean more and be more special to him.

The biggest example of this is through the girl. The woman that he met in South America whom last we saw doomed to die from our anti-hero’s enemies. Of course, he saved her and he wonders if the Columbians who made such a mess of his desired retirement are responsible. Just as with the last arc that skillfully manipulated the reader into believing that a sour deal would unwind the assasin’s life… we are moved to think that revenge will be his Achilles heel. The teaser image for next issue seems to imply this, but I am sure that this noir will have a couple of more astonishing twists in the next and final three issues.

The writing is taut and the suspense just builds from issue to issue. You have to read the next issue. Of all the crime books that seem to be bursting on the scene, this one French title that originally ended five years ago is the one that seems to be the best. While Brubaker plays a masterful game of homage in Criminal and Aaron takes the genre to a new territory in Scalped, this book takes everything you think you know about a crime story and turns it on its head. It plays on the preconceived stereotypes of the genre and makes new and more compelling choices for its story and its characters. This is how you change and revitalize a genre. This is the masterpiece.

Luc Jacamon uses a simple cartoon style for his characters. It is most useful for the emotive response in the characters that it enables. Like all of the greatest strip cartoonists, he is able to express more through a few simple lines than the most able of a photo-realistic styled artist could hope to achieve. As if that were not enough, the rich backgrounds and settings seemed detailed in much the same way. He is not painstakingly drawing every piece of bark on a tree but somehow makes a vibrant forest all the same. The color choices he makes are perfect. There is no other way to evoke the masterful way that he uses color to enhance the scene, the script and to differentiate between all the various rooms and locales.

This is very different from this week’s The Bond of Saint Marcel (also from Archaia) which makes for a compelling read as a whole package of lesser goods. This is a masterpiece in every sense, the writing and art are perfect and work flawlessly together to create one of the best comics being published, regardless of its origins, influences, or schedule. The Killer is worth the hunt and the effort. It is a fine example of well told and crafted serial graphic narrative.

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