Oh, Killstrike #1 (BOOM! – Benis / Faerber)
Jared, a new father, fears parenthood. An old comics fan, he turns to them for comfort. But when he unwittingly lets loose his favorite character, Killstrike – a singleminded, vengeance loving anti-hero – onto the world, Jared must find a way to send him back before he harms all the people he loves the most. But before that happens, Killstrike leads Jared on a quest of self-discovery to make him realize the kid who loved this character is not the man he has become.
I read comics back in the 80’s and 90’s. I read a LOT of comics, and I have many very fond memories of some of the very things “Oh, Killstrike” pokes fun at. The early days of Image, where Rob Liefield seemed determined to completely ignore human anatomy, where the anti-hero was It, and heroes declared themselves “the best there is” at what they did even if what they did wasn’t very nice. Our heroes were in a dark time, and we sucked it up.
It couldn’t possibly be an accident that these feelings of nostalgia were dredged up while reading Oh, Killstrike. That very nostalgia is the cornerstone on which this book is built. That fact isn’t any more plain than in what I thought was the issue’s pivotal scene (no major spoilers, I promise). Jared is digging through his old comics in search of an issue of Killstrike, determined to use the book’s notoriety to bank some money for his growing family after seeing an issue sell online for $100,000. Going through his old books, Jared gets caught up in the old stories, and the scene made me want to pull my longboxes out of the closet.
Rest assured, I doubt this series is going to be all heartstring tugs and flashbacks. There’s plenty of promise of hijinks and jocularity to be had as Killstrike (think Marvel’s Cable with a thyroid problem) adapts to the “real world”. Point of fact, the parts of the book that involved Jared convincing Killstrike that he was a fictional character reminded me a LOT of Jack Slater in The Last Action Hero. What remains to be seen is whether or not the promise of mayhem and gratuitous violence will be met as the story rolls along.