Introducing Indies: Kill All Monsters!
Written By: Michael May
Art By: Jason Copland
When you think about web-comics, you make the assumption that the story will not be too detailed or that the art won’t hold your attention for more than a panel or two and then become stale. That is a stereotype that the creative team behind Kill All Monsters! avoids by having a very well thought out story. This volume has only started to express the complexity of it, with characters that display more emotions than you would assume from the outlet source. The excitement and thrill around giant robots fighting massive monsters could not have been higher in 2013 as Pacific Rim brought the passion of the fans that loved the monster vs robot genre to the masses. In a world where human life has been all but eradicated by these colossal bugs, a few soldiers take up the fight in unique robotic mechs that each have a name befitting their design and skill set. The genre easily draw in those that are already fans of giant fights destroying international landmarks but to attract those that would not have picked up this book or read the web-comic, there needed to be a hook to make the reader keep reading.
What really drew me into Kill All Monsters! was the art styling. In a comic where there are no colorful explosions or brilliant hues to make the panels pop off the page, the artwork needs to hold its own and express itself with on-point technique. Most of this limitation of art comes from budget, but that should not be a factor in the final product delivered, and deliver it does. What Copland does with the lines and cross hatching brings depth to the monsters as does the overlay of the darkened printing brings form and movement to the robot suits. There is a clear focus on the fighting and character models as the destroyed cityscape makes its appearance as a supporting cast member. Normally a giant monster vs robot movie would be a summer blockbuster at the theater with highly impressive CGI, but with the limitation of being in a web-comic the action treats the reader by having scenes that flow excitingly from page to page.
The hook for this comic comes when we find out that in the 1950s, some atomic testing created these monsters and the resistance is trying to defend the last of what remains of humanity. Going even deeper into the complexity of the kaiju vs mech story there is another member of the team that is not fully trusted in the non-piloted self-aware-robot named Archer. It seems that everyone is extremely apprehensive to have him on their side. Complicating this further, Archer saves his team members earning some trust, however, it is also discovered that the scientists of yesteryear caused this fight for survival, and their research labs are still up to date and operating. In the end, this was a good read for any fan of Godzilla, Pacific Rim or Kaiju movie and a safe and exciting read for any age group.