Comic Book Review: Killer Instinct #1

Title: Killer Instinct #1
Publisher: Dynamite
Words: Ian Edginton
Art: Cam Adams
Colors: Jorge Sutil
Letters: Troy Peteri
Publication Date: September 20, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “The Shadow Lord Gargos has been defeated! But the battle to save humankind from his Astral invasion has taken a terrible toll on the Earth. Our world lies in ruin, and a sinister new power called the Coven has risen from the ashes, vying with the megacorporation Ultratech to rule the shattered nations. The heroes Kim Wu and Jago—their Astral powers weakened by their devastating war against Gargos—must band together with the scattered remnants of the Night Guard to forge a pathway into the Astral Plane. Here, in the birthplace of The Shadow Lord and The Guardians, festers the secret malevolence that threatens to destroy them all…and enslave the world forever.”

I don’t know about you, fellow reader, but I haven’t thought about the Killer Instinct franchise since the nineties. Sure, it’s come up in conversation several times, but the discussions we’re about Cinder’s (bulls***) endless combo in the original game, not the plot. And I never played the 2013 version, so for me, Killer Instinct 2/Gold is where the buck stops. Thus, going into my reading of Killer Instinct #1 I knew next to nothing about the franchise, and frankly, this issue doesn’t help.

Throughout the issue, I was unsure of what I was reading and why it mattered to me. As much as I like being dropped into the middle of things, here, the story wasn’t strong enough to keep my attention.


Ian Edginton’s writing, from panel to panel, is strong enough and natural enough to be considered a success. And while I appreciate his brief recap of what happened prior to this issue, there isn’t enough information provided in said recap to give me a reason to care about what I am reading. It feels as though nothing is at stake, although I am sure that this isn’t really the case.


Cam Adams does a decent enough job with his character work, but at points throughout the issue, his transitions are lacking, and in certain panels, there is no sense of place at all. Adams’ still panels are spot-on, but once characters begin to move, things get a bit wonky, and the intensity is all but non-existent.

The Bottom Line:

Far from captivating, Killer Instinct #1 is a decent enough comic that, according to the publisher will be an epic and worthwhile read. I don’t see any evidence of that, but I am willing to read another issue or two. Fans of the franchise, and more specifically, fans that have played the most recent game, may get a kick out of this. For newcomers…you may want to pass.