Destroy all the gods!

21 Nov

By Ayo

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Mini Kuš, no. 6
Killman
By Box Brown
September 2012, Komikss (Kuš)

Side remark which has nothing to do with the story or the author: the design idea that Kuš uses for these Mini Kuš books is absolutely wonderful. Kuš in general has some of the most pleasing and user-friendly book design in all of comics. Their aesthetic is at once clean and information-rich. I’m a big fan. This particular book credits Markus Häfliger for “layout” so please take your bow.

[applause]

Now onto the serious business of our protagonist Robert Cordozar Brodus Killman.

[applause respectfully dies down]

“I’ll never be free… until they’re all dead.”

Killman goes by Robert now and is in the process of punching, kicking, torpedoing and laser-blasting the gods of the universe to death, one by one. The gods are widely known to be tyrants of the planets and oppressive rulers of the slimy blobs that represent the remaining mortal people in the universe. It all gets a bit tricky midway through and I lost the plot a few times but the fluidity of the storytelling kept me engaged.

The terms are a bit unusual here because while the creatures that Killman battles are called “gods,” there is a being in the story that represents an approximation of the Western idea of “a god” that features heavily and supplies the backbone of the story. I don’t know, this is making my head throb.

Superhero comics’ best job is externalizing and outsizing regular problems or philosophical ideas. It isn’t hard to grasp author Box Brown’s themes: anti-authoritarian, anti-Western religion. The protagonist literally becomes one with everything and finds that Eastern religion does not suit him any better. We leave the story with Killman essentially victorious but ever vigilant against gods and other spirits. Superhero comic books are about wearing your essence on your sleeve and Brown takes up the task admirably.

Apropos of nothing, the protagonist is partially named after rapper Snoop Dogg. “Cordozar Bro[a]dus,” Robert Killman’s middle names, comprise the given name of the popular performer of hit singles such as “Gin & Juice” and “What’s My Name.”

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