Advanced Review – Killtopia #3

Dave Cook’s Killtopia was pretty much a revelation when it first released through Kickstarter and the world of Wreckers & The Rot had rightfully grabbed a lot of people’s attention – that meant that getting an early look at the latest issue was an instant must-read.

While the stage had already been set for an evolving world of brutal death-matches, day-to-day struggles to survive, and a garish neon-soaked existence either in the limelight or in the gutter, the cast of strong characters were already broad enough to make sure this had been injected with potential from the beginning.  The balance around Shinji’s life was knocked out of whack with the arrival of Crash and after a tug of war between him and Stiletto as she tried to cash in – the real story behind Crash and every other character seems to come to fruition in this third installment.

As Stiletto is presumed dead she does her own share of soul-searching to make sense of the people around her and the position she found herself in it’s hierarchy and the truth about Crash becomes far deeper than we could have imagined with his ability to cure the Rot being only the tip of the iceberg in the plot that’s unfolding.  As some key players face up to their challenges and others fall foul of their past transgressions, the intricacies are building with each detail that’s being played out before us.

Those details are just a hint at the extra developments in a a series where there were already a number of things that have made this title stand out for me.  None more so than Dave’s tireless work on keeping every strand of story under control AND building up the layers around the characters he has created which really starts to payoff.  However, it’s only now that you realize just how much groundwork were in those initial two issues and that there’s still a whole series of reveals that have yet to come.  The fact we’re beginning to see the strength in each character’s slice of the story only enhances that idea and this third issue feels like something of a turning point for the series as a whole.

It’s fitting in a way that the art duties are passed on at a time when the world is becoming more expansive in terms of it’s characters and while a change of styles inevitably ends up in the loss of something along the way, it feels like Clark Bint has done everything to make sure that’s kept to a minimum.  It’s perhaps because we got used to how a book looks & feels after two issues but mixing things up in this third part feels like the right change at the right time.  There’s enough subtle nods to what’s gone before but Clark has really embraced the world he’s been let loose in and the freedom and enjoyment he has in helping create this world shows on every page.  Similarly the addition of Lou Ashworth on colours shows that they “get” the world and the neon-drenched world is giving the same vibrant sense of life it has had from the very beginning.  Micah Myers returns on lettering duties too and does a typically slick job on keeping so many story threads unique and moving as the narration & dialogue ebbs & flows.

The world of Killtopia started off as a revelation and settled into it’s stride when those first few issues became a reality but in this third issue, and with an evolving creative team, it’s a testament to the quality of the story how significant this issue really is.  The depth in the characters has really become evident and you can tell that’s been Dave’s plan all along and with the creative team around him adding the exact touches needed from their owns skill set, the momentum behind Killtopia continues at a suitably impressive pace.  A strong series that shines a light on the indie world and one that sets us up for two closing issues that have the potential to bring us anything that Dave sees fit to throw at us….and that’s an exciting possibility in itself.  Roll on issue #4, #5 and anything else that could come our way from this release and these creators.

You can get hold of Killtopia over on the BHP Comics online shop & Amazon and keep up to date with everyone involved over on Twitter for more news of this & the other projects they have on:

Dave – @davescook

Clark – @clarkbintart

Lou – @FiverArts

Micah – @micahmyers

BHP Comics – @BHP_Comics

9/10

G-Man

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