Epic Kill is the new Image Comics series from Raffaele Ienco, who created, writes, and draws the book. Centered on a young woman known only as Song, who’s been trained since birth to be the perfect assassin. Despite her incredible killing skills, however, Song’s memory is a mess, with her only remembering bits and pieces of her past. When an army of mercenaries, assassins, and crooked cops comes after her, Song goes on the run and on a mission of vengeance. As you can imagine, a lot of people end up dying in Epic Kill.
Epic Kill is, from cover to cover, a non-stop roller coaster ride. It moves at a breakneck pace and never slows down. For anyone who likes lots of manic action, Epic Kill has all you can handle and more. Additionally, there’s a variety of enemies for Song to use her deadly skill set upon, everything from machine gun wielding assassins to abusive mental hospital staff members. As I said above, lots of people end up getting killed in this book.
Unfortunately for Epic Kill, this book is a mess. It’s only one issue into the series and I already regret ever spending money on the damn thing. The plot isn’t all that original or entertaining and is essentially a mix of The Bourne Identity, The Matrix, and Kill Bill. Just take all the good parts from each of those films, throw them into a story and you’d have Epic Kill. The entire story feels rushed, the character of Song is never fleshed out to the point that anyone would care about her or why she’s doing what she’s doing, and you finish the first issue with the distinct feeling that you’ve already seen all of this before. Which, of course, you have.
As if to admit that Epic Kill is a jumbled collection of crap, creator/artists/writer Raffaele Ienco pretty much delivers a signed confession at the end of the book (which he should have included up front to save us the time of reading through it), saying…
“What is ‘Epic Kill’? Good question. When I started the project, I didn’t know myself. I knew I wanted to do a “killer” book for Image. Image is just cool. I wanted to be a part of that scene.
So I had just finsihed writing my third screenplay, each one taking eight months from start to finish. With this comic, I just wanted to jump right in and draw. No thinking about every aspect of the story and every line of dialogue. I just wanted to create. And if I “created” myself into a corner with the plotting, well I’m a writer – I would just be creative enough to write myself out of it.”
I’ve never drawn or written a comic book myself, but if I did, I think I would make sure that I knew what the story was going to be about and where I was going with it before I started drawing. Also, I would disagree with Ienco’s assessment that he is creative enough to write himself out of any corner he painted himself into. Because, really, issue one of Epic Kill is all about him repeatedly hitting a dead end with the plot. When this happens, as it does pretty much from the start, he doesn’t skillfully maneuver himself out of anything. The story just continues to bash its face off the wall in a futile attempt to move forward.
Finally, with the story being a lifeless disaster, it would at least help a little bit if the art was really great. Sadly, for everyone involved, it’s not. Not in my opinion, at any rate. While I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who has enough talent to both write and draw a full comic book, nothing about Raffaele Ienco’s artwork worked for me. Some of the panels were pretty decent, but others just felt felt like they were rushed and thrown together as quickly as possible. The quality from one page to the next just wasn’t there. The only thing that was consistent from page to page was disappointment.
The Bottom Line
Epic Kill is a waste of time and money. I really hate saying something that blunt and harsh, but really, it is what it is. The writing is horrific, the story is unoriginal and boring, and the art does nothing to keep your mind off the fact that this whole thing is just stupid. Stay as far away from this issue, and this series, as you can. Perhaps when Mr. Ienco decides to sit down and actually think out and care about the product he is going to deliver, we should give him another look, but it’s very clear that Epic Kill is an epic fail.
Filed Under: Reviews