20th Oct2014

‘The Kill Screen #2: Cascade’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Written by Mike Garley | Art by Josh Sherwell | Lettering by Mike Stock | Format: Paperback, 32pp

Kill-Screen-2-cover

Humanity has reached its Kill Screen. Now only the strongest will survive as computer errors transcend from the digital world into our own, destroying everything in their way. Set two years after the ‘Kill Screen’ event, Humanity is left on the brink of extinction leaving the remaining survivors caught in a deadly 8-bit fight for survival. No one knows what caused the computer errors and technological faults to infect our world, but with a wide range of different dangers, threatening the lives of the survivors on a daily basis, no one cares. Surviving is all that matters.

If you caught my review of the first issue of The Kill Screen, you’ll know I thought it was a really interesting story mixing up the computerised and the real and I was very impressed by the 8-bit cross over with the art work. Now we have a second issue in this series and I am glad to say that it gets better! Now with even more nods to the worlds of gaming and the internet, the story follows a new group of survivors and some familiar faces after the shocking conclusion of the last issue. No, I’m not going to tell you what it was. Nice try.

In this issue, the survivors are pursued by cat-obsessed ‘followers’, and need to keep moving or they will find themselves ‘unfollowed’ (dead). The way this comic puts are darker spin on internet activity that has just become part of our normal lives now definitely impressed and also makes you think. Next time I plan to follow someone on Twitter I am definitely going to imagine myself as a crazed madman out for their blood. Not much of a stretch of the imagination actually. But amidst this dark and slightly bloody storyline, there is definitely time for humour and many nods towards gaming and internet references which will bring a slightly manic grin to your face.

One thing which disappointed me about this issue was the downplay of the 8-bit pixel effects which really made the first issue look spectacular. There are still computer effects within the story, especially with the Followers and a really cool health bar which I will let you find out about yourself, but it did seem a little bit dampened down this issue. However, this could be because there was a stronger focus on the survivors and telling their story, which to be fair, is a completely fine trade off.

Like the internet? Like games? Like comics? Well then read The Kill Screen because it is right up your street!

The Kill Screen #2: Cascade is available from writer Mike Garley’s online store, issue one is also available digitally via Comixology.

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