There is a place you can, that doesn’t care where you are from, or what you are like, where none of the things that serve to differentiate you from others matters. At all! In todays online world, viewers looking for the next big thrill can drop a cool $1 million to get a link that will let them watch contestants battle in the Killbox, where the winner, defined by being the last person standing, walks, crawls, hobbles away with a $10 million prize.
Writer Tom Riordan presents the game set within the real world, where players can take on players at any time. The world is a vicious place, where surviving can be as soul destroying as losing. Riordan has plotted this first issues well, action scene to start to intrigue the reader, before moving into a cast of characters with various motivations. The characters are the key here, with Riordan presenting slew of differences and motivations in the hope that one takes your fancy, which then creates the need of the reader to see how his or her character fares.
Nathan Gooden provides the art for book, which is suitably dark and tense. In addition, there is an odd casino effect in play, with guys in suits and girls looking like they stepped out a James Bond movie. Gooden’s characters have an Alan Davis look in how they are addressed in the panel and some of the structures of the poses. The book is black and white which helps with the darkness element, without taking away any of the contrast of even context of the art.
Reading the book, it is obvious there are a slew of influences on show; from Hostel to The Hunger Games with elements of The Purge. These are duly noted by Riordan and it is refreshing to see writer at least nod towards what has gone before, especially when the idea of the book isn’t the most original. That then is the main problem of the book for me. Despite the promise of “put a stamp on it”, at this point there is little evidence of the stamp on show. Fans of the movies and books mentioned above will no doubt find a lot to like in this book. For me, I have been there, seen that and don’t particularly want to revisit.
Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars