Revin Moniz ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With a comic book, the possibilities are endless. The writer can choose any genre or storyline and present it in a way that just cannot be done in most other narrative driven art. This is how comics like Watchmen by Alan Moore and Saga by Brian K. Vaughan exist. Comics are only limited by the writer’s ideas and the artist’s skill, and a good writer and artist can create an unlimitedly good comic. RunLoveKill doesn’t really grasp the concept of unlimited.
Published by Image Comics and written by Jonathan Tsuei and Eric Canete, RunLoveKill was intended to be an eight issue limited series, with Volume 1 collecting the first half of the series. The comic is set in the dystopian future, in the city of Prygat, which is walled off and controlled by an organization called Origami. The protagonist, Rain, is attempting to leave the city, but she is stalled by the military force that is trying to kill her. It has all the makings of a fun, action packed comic, but despite all its potential, RunLoveKill is very boring.
There are many factors that make it boring, but let’s start with the art. If there is anything this comic does well, it’s having style. Prygat looks like the slums of the world in Minority Reports: lots of holograms and glowing teleporters. The clothing choices are intricate and leave a lasting impression. The issue with this however is that everything is dark and grim. The art style, also done by Canete, chooses to use very dark colors that don’t make the reader want to stare at the panels. The art also deters the flow of the panels. The opening scene of issue one is an intercut sequence of a chase and someone playing a violin. The flow does not work and it feels like staring at individual images than experiencing a story. The same goes for the character designs. They are all unproportioned and the limbs are slim. Almost every time a character would show up in a panel, there body is proportioned differently. It creates a very cartoonish parallel for a comic that takes itself very seriously.
Speaking of characters, none are very well defined. They all have their one trait and are pretty much there just for the ride. One example is Dey, who is a friend of Rain and is trying to get her out Pyrgat. He cracks a joke once and awhile but doesn’t feel unique or interesting. The bad guys are also just generic military types who don’t really have personality. Honestly, the most interesting character is Tin, a giant robot who has only three lines. He is very uniquely designed and the writer decides to imply a very interesting relationship between him and Rain. It shows how the comic could be stronger if the writers had chosen to embrace more out-there sci-fi elements than telling a very basic story. Rain is the main character and even after four issues focused on her, it’s hard to care what she is doing. The reader is given no reason to. Each issue opens with a flashback to Rain’s life, but these are so convoluted and generic that they hold no emotional weight. She is just Tragic Hero with Dead Parents #11296. The last panel of the collection piques the reader’s interest a little bit but that’s half way through the whole series.
The story is extremely bare bones. It feels like any other assassin trying to escape some evil organization. To add to it, there is no emotional weight, making the reader feel uninvested. Everything just feels so exhausted and overused. Comic books should be unlimited but RunLoveKill paints itself into a corner. Maybe if it was read back to back with soon to be released volume 2 it would flow better and would be stronger as a whole, but as it stands, volume 1 is a whole bunch of wasted potential.