Oh, Killstrike is a four part comic series by Max Bemis and Logan Faerber produced by Boom Studios that serves as an examination of how we, as comic book fans, view comics. It’s riddled with plenty of jokes and nodding pokes at 90s comic writing, while offering insightful commentary on a culture we love and, sometimes, take too seriously.
We start off with Jared, a comic writer in his early 30s who takes his medium far too seriously. He lives and breathes comics, knows their development and history, and definitely considers himself a cultured individual when it comes to what he reads. Him and his wife recently had a baby and Jared struggles, like I assume most new parents do, with balancing work needs and home needs; often prioritizing work. One day, he learns that an old 90s comic he used to read as a child is worth a ton of money, specifically the first issue, because of how notoriously terrible it is. He knows a copy of said comic is located in the attic of his mother’s house, so he leaves to retrieve it. To his surprise, when he finds said comic, its main character comes to life and leaps out of the pages. It’s none other than overly clichéd 90s action hero, Killstrike! He’s disproportionally built and overly masculine, shirtless, has a robotic arm, un-functional war paint and way too many weapons. Imagine if every action star from the Expendables somehow fused together… you’d get Killstrike. He’s fueled by a typical mission, vengeance, and cannot return to the comic realm until said mission is complete. Being a rational guy, Jared has no real vengeance missions for Killstrike, but decides that they should embark on a journey to confront his father who abandoned his mother when he was a young child. Turns out, Jared’s father is a well-known comic writer, but tracking him down seems to be more difficult that one would think. As they get closer to Jared’s father, pieces to a puzzle they didn’t know existed start revealing themselves.
I obviously don’t want to reveal too much of the story and spoil the experience. It’s a super short read and worth it. At first, the writing will seem a little cliché and like it’s trying too hard; other parts might seem pretentious. However, this is done on purpose as a way of building deep and meaningful character growths in a short amount of time. The ending is a gentle reminder to remember what things in life really mater. Overall, it provides a well-laid balance that isn’t truly revealed or appreciated until the end.
I highly recommend that you check it out! If you do, tell me what you thought of the ending.