[Review] KILLMONGER #1 is Brilliant, Classical Tragedy

FIRST IMPRESSION

KILLMONGER #1 reads like the opening act of a classical tragedy. The book explores what is at the core of this character who is somewhere between villain and antihero, and what fatal flaws will ultimately lead to his downfall. Highly recommended.
Writing
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
- Advertisement -

Killmonger is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy because revenge is inherently tragic.” So says writer Bryan Hill in the afterword of Killmonger #1, the first chapter in a new five-part Marvel story. Hill’s words cut right to the heart of what this book, and the character himself, are about.

Most people reading this will have some familiarity with the T’Challa’s great antagonist (at least since the box-office smash Black Panther earlier this year). But, what really makes Killmonger tick? What helped shape the calculating figure he becomes?

Following the young N’Jadaka after he is kidnapped from Wakanda, the book explores the adult Killmonger’s quest for revenge against Klaue and the country he believes abandoned him. It’s the story of a man whose flaws will ultimately lead to his own destruction.

The Writing

Bryan Hill shows himself to be a true master dramatist with this book. Killmonger #1 is the first act of a tragedy in the Shakespearean sense. And, like any good protagonist in a story like this, Erik has tragic flaws.

- Advertisement -

Throughout the book, we see him overplay his hand and allow his confidence to sabotage his plans. Then, of course, there is his single-minded obsession with revenge. We witness Erik’s first steps down the path that will define him, going so far as to quote Moby Dick as he meditates on his hatred. And like Captain Ahab, this is what will ultimately take him down.

Hill suggests the true root of Erik’s desire, even beneath his justified resentment of Wakanda for their silence in the face of injustice, lies in his own fear. “Erik, despite all his power and ability, won’t allow himself to face his fears,” Hill says. “And that’s why this ends the way we all know it will.”

But, even though we know how this story will end, it’s fascinating to watch it unfold.

The Artwork

Artist Juan Ferreyra employs a softly focused style for Killmonger #1. The work has an illustrator-like quality, which comes through strongest in close-ups of characters. There is a level of fine detail present throughout, though, with gorgeous yet minimal backgrounds and designs.

Everything has a sense of motion and energy to it. There are few static panels. Even in quieter moments, you feel the tense weight of the story carry through.

Ferreyra’s art is a pleasure to look at throughout Killmonger #1, even in some of the most brutal sequences. For example, there’s one part of the story in which a character has a particularly nasty encounter with a window. But there’s a sense of refinement even among the gore of the scene.

Final Thoughts

Killmonger #1 is brilliant storytelling, pure and simple. It’s the story of a man consumed by his desire for revenge; a classic drama in contemporary setting. Highly recommended.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

video

Today in Marvel History: The Thanos Snap

Today In Marvel History May 21st, 1991, Thanos SNAPS in “Infinity Gauntlet” #1. ► Subscribe to Marvel: http://bit.ly/WeO3YJ Follow Marvel on Twitter: ‪https://twitter.com/marvel Like Marvel on Facebook: ‪https://www.facebook.com/Marvel For even more news, stay tuned to: Tumblr: ‪http://marvelentertainment.tumblr.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marvel Reddit: ‪https://www.reddit.com/user/marvel-official Pinterest: ‪http://pinterest.com/marvelofficial
video

Cartoonist Kayfabe: Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 4, Kayfabe Commentary

What more can be said? Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and special guest Tom Scioli unpack the Frank Miller classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes!

Review: FAITHLESS #2 Will Seduce You

Faithless from BOOM! Studios is one of the most intriguing, visually stimulating, and exciting comics on the shelf.

MEGACON 2019: A Funny, Heartfelt Q&A with Zachary Levi

Even as Megacon 2019 wound down at the Orlando Convention Center on Sunday, Zachary Levi kept the energy level high during his Q&A session. Levi,...
video

Marvel Comics Documentary: The History of the X-Men Documentary Part 1 • GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1

Take a look back at the origins of the X-Men and the creative teams that transformed them into a pop culture behemoth for the modern era.
video

Looking back with the DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL | Marvel’s Pull List

Celebrate Marvel’s 80th Anniversary with the Pull List as we take you back to the 1980’s! Ryan & Tucker break down THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, THE SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #1, SQUADRON SUPREME #1 and DAREDEVIL #181! ► Subscribe to Marvel: http://bit.ly/WeO3YJ Follow Marvel on Twitter: ‪https://twitter.com/marvel Like Marvel on Facebook: ‪https://www.facebook.com/Marvel For even more news,…

Tom King And Clay Mann Move To BATMAN/CATWOMAN In January 2020

BURBANK, CA (May 24, 2019) – DC fans can expect an exciting future as the publisher revealed early details on its strategy for 2020,...

Neal Adams Brings Batman, Ra’s al Ghul Together Again

DC Comics has announced a new Ra's al Ghul miniseries written and drawn by the legendary Bat-artist — and al Ghul co-creator — Neal...
Avatar
David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.