Ever since its creation in 1994 Killer Instinct has been regarded as the weaker cousin to Mortal Kombat. Whereas Killer Instinct followed Mortal Kombat into arcades and later onto home consoles, the franchise has done the same in the comic book world. Although the Mortal Kombat franchise flopped under the Malibu Comics banner and DC’s Mortal Kombat X: Blood Ties had limited success, Dynamite Entertainment has taken a gamble on the Killer Instinct property with their new series.
Thus far, Killer Instinct isn’t pulling aces but it sure hasn’t come close to folding just yet either.
A background in telling futuristic, steampunk, fantasy storytelling, Ian Edginton is the perfect writer to bring the Killer Instinct world to life and tie-in all of the assorted background stories of all the Killer Instinct characters.
Over the first two issues the main focus has been on True Tsar, a Russian vampire master who wants blood-suckers to take over the world, a world that was decimated when an interdeminsional gateway opened igniting a war between Earth and its heroes and demons from the astral plane. True Tsar wants all of Earth’s heros dead, especially those who fight alongside their guardian spirits.
In the second issue, True Tsar sends his cohort Mira and a gaggle of Windigos to kill Jago, a monk who has a tiger as his guardian spirit. While Jago and Mira trade blows in a bloody and intense battle, there is a hostile takeover at Ultratech. Ultratech and its AI CEO ARIA (“Advanced Robotics Intelligence Architecture”) are what sparked the war to begin with. Programmed to oversee the survival of the human race, ARIA attempted to push the human race to evolve by causing the rift and the war that followed. ARIA is attacked by the cold-hearted Glacius and his pal Eagle who accuse her of breaking 7,2003 intergalactic laws or something. They are interrupted by Cinder who is tired of working for ARIA and wants to seize control of anything and everything Ultratech.
Edginton has really kept to the spirit of the Killer Instinct characters while also fitting them into the world he has created. Up until now, he seems to be juggling all of the characters and their relationships quite well as we as readers aren’t overwhelmed, forced to micromanage what could be Game of Thrones-like associations. He has kept things concise and focused despite their being a pantheon of Killer Instinct characters at his beck and call. The best thing is that even if you have never played one Killer Instinct match you can still follow the story, the characters and all the happenings without having your mouse or finger at the ready to Google this or that.
Cam Adams’ art has that rough edge which makes the entire book look organic and that adds so much to the story and the characters. It is especially refreshing to those of us who have grown tired of the overly polished, glossy look of today’s comics which often look more like animation cells than comic book pages.
Killer Instinct #2 is an ideal set-up for things to come as we are guessing things should really ramp up in the next three issues with a force of heroes perhaps rallying against True Tsar and his minions. Killer Instinct fans will surely get more out of this series but Edginton has written a story that is accessible to anyone who just likes a good fantasy story.
- THE GOOD
- A story that even non-Killer Instinct fans can get into.
- Cam Adams’ art.
- Intense action scenes.
- The plot offers more questions than answers.
- THE BAD
- We need more Cinder, always.
A strong beginning to what could be a very interesting series especially for fans of Killer Instinct.