Kill Lock is one of the most eye-catching and well written stories to have come out of IDW. It was released on September 9th, 2020. Creator Livio Ramondelli works as both writer and artist to a beautiful universe with a robot society. Joining him is letterer Tom B. Long to display the unique voices of each character.
Kill Lock: Robot Faction Building
Ramondelli writes Kill Lock with multiple layers of both world and character. In a space age where robots practically run the universe, the reader views the world through four distinct personalities.
The protagonist, Artisan, reflects the greater society’s status quo to purge weakness. Any flaw is something to eliminate, even if it’s not that robot’s fault. Imagine this being like the concept of needing to replace a still working computer with the latest model and now apply that to a disabled person. Real dictatorships come from this kind of thinking, one in particular that still echoes throughout history.
But what makes Kill Lock unique is the titular jail sentence. It’s a form of exile where four undesirables are forced to work together. Because, if one of them dies, they all die. The Artisan is by no means sympathetic, he’s as much an antagonist as he is a protagonist. The other characters meanwhile deserve a little love and empathy.
The Labor Class’s attitude is like any blue-collar worker who got into a bad situation. He’s the kind of character people would relate and give sympathy to the most because of how close to life he feels. The Wraith Legionnaire is a heroic figure who, through subtle visual storytelling, goes through the most development. These two are the muscle to protect the heart of their group, the Unfinished. He looks and acts like an innocent child, the kind that changes the sympathetic connection the Laborer and Legionnaire to empathy. Because wanting to protect someone from a cold cruel world when they don’t have the power was something the artisan was counting on for his master plan. No spoilers, but with how empathetic these three become, the audience have become unwilling accomplices of the Artisan.
Robots In Distress
Ramondelli’s artwork has plenty of similarities with his time on Transformers. The hyper detailed orientation and coloring give a photorealistic design to everything. Each robot body’s appearance gives the reader an idea on how they look and function. The bulky bodies of the Laborer and Wraith look tough enough to survive what can be thrown at them while the Artisan and Unfinished look frail.
The facial features also help in displaying the emotions of the relatable characters. Surprisingly, even the Wraith’s glowing symbol face gets expressive, to show he isn’t as stoic as he might suggest. All of these things make the reader want to connect to these characters, except for the foreboding Artisan.
Long, as letterer, brings arguably the most subtle details to Kill Lock. Robots who live in general society all have a mechanical font, unlike the more natural font of outcasts. This gives the reader a sense of awe at how the robot society treats its citizens with complete indifference. With the Kill Lock cast’s natural speech, readers get the impression that they are more “human”. They recognize their flaws but are okay with it, unlike the rest of society that only see them as mistakes.
Kill Lock Commence!
This short but sweet series collects a story that looks into a society of robots. One where the concept of a humanistic outlook by both characters and readers leads to tragedy. The reader finds themselves attaching to certain characters they genuinely come to love, only for everyone to realize that they were led astray. It’s these feelings, feelings of love and disillusionment, that allow for a great story to come out in Kill Lock.