Killtopia #1 Review
Killtopia is a cyberpunk graphic novel series set in a mega-city in future Japan, where heavily-armed Wreckers are paid to hunt rogue mechs for money, fame and glory. Rookie Wrecker Shinji and Crash, the world’s first sentient mech, as they are hunted as fugitives across the neon-soaked metropolis by Wreckers, android killers and Yakuza gangs.
Shinji wants to save his sister. Crash wants to be more than a machine. They both want to make it out alive.
Killtopia #1 is available from BHP Comics.
Killtopia #1 Story
Killtopia #1 is a gargantuan first issue. It’s the type of science fiction that’s the answer to every Akira fanboy’s wet dreams. Writer/co-creator Dave Cook introduces us to a post apocalyptic world of Japan which has familiar leanings to other futuristic worlds set in Megacities. See Judge Dredd and Escape from New York.
Killtopia depicts a world in which bounty hunters are paid to hunt down rogue mechs for fortune, fame and glory. The protagonist rookie bounty hunter, Shinji, does his very best to take on what scraps he can to help his sister who seems to be gradually dying from a nano virus. The same kind of nano virus which has killed millions in this fictional world.
Killtopia shifts up a few heads when Crash, a rogue mech that is self aware, befriends Shinji and before you know it the two of them are on the run. When not only are mechs sort of illegal but this specific mech has the cure to what ails Shinji’s sister and perhaps the whole world that is suffering.
Cook does an incredible job at depicting a vibrant and equally decadent future landscape. Here is a world ravaged by a post-apocalypse like no other. A post-apocalypse that has brought humanity to its knees. Where only the strong survive and the weak are left to beg for what little scraps they can muster. It’s a believable comic that plays into the classist values of Japanese culture whilst adding another level of commentary on how reliant humans are on technology.
Killtopia #1 Art
Artist Craig Paton’s panel work looks and feels like a CGI house of wonders. From page to page, there’s a feeling of scenes rather than panels. It’s a three dimensional multi layered world which feels more akin to Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell.
Paton’s work observes Cook’s so well that it’s expertly fine tuned to the story and the genre it’s aiming for. While clearly a Cyberpunk story, there’s no glamour to be found here. If anything Killtopia is a celebration of the grit that can sometimes get lost in the overall cyberpunk experience.
Killtopia #1 Conclusion
Killtopia #1 is a delightfully broken science fiction tale which measure the relationship of man and machine. Shinji’s friendship of convenience with an outlawed Mech is an uncomfortable metaphor on the horrors that can face a society which legitimises the mistreatment of its people. While the classism underlines how a hierarchy can and will measure each citizens based on simply on the direct contribution they can offer.
All in all, the delivery speaks volumes in Cook and Paton’s love for the post-apocalyptic/cyberpunk genre. Killtopia is a world you’ll be happy to be escorted through. The action filled drama featuring kick ass robots is just a bonus!
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