Killtopia 2Dave Cook and Craig Paton, Card Shark Comics

Killtopia 2 returns us to the heart of the action as our heroes take on everything that the city has to throw at them in the search for Crash, the robot who can cure the Rot, the nanotech-borne disease that is ravaging the humans of the city.

Once again we travel through the malls, sewers and alleyways of the city in all its magnificence. This issue has more focus on some of the key characters, especially Killtopia gladiator Stiletto. Stiletto is a great character. Highly skilled but lacking in morals – but to survive in an amoral world there is no other way to be. Stiletto does not just survive, she thrives as the top ‘wrecker’, subject to the adulation and whims of her social media followers. She first battles Crash, and then comes up with a better plan. By the end we are as unsure of her allegiance as those she rides with.

Okay woah, just breathe, you’re clearly not thinking straight. You want me to order a mime you can slap around? That usually makes you feel better.
Ah, you’re a sweetheart but I don’t think a mime beating will cut it today.

Stiletto, charming as ever

The other key character is Crash, the miracle mech who has two great gifts. The first is sentience and independence of mind. The second is the ability to cure the Rot. He also has other more mundane abilities, such as fighting prowess. But Crash has a weakness, one that comes with consciousness. Just as nanotechnology is infecting humanity, so do the human traits of free will and thought infect Crash. He has high morals, wants love and friendship but is fatally naive. In this city naivety will get you killed very quickly.

Crash is a bit Skizz (sorry 2000 AD analogies are never far from mind when reading Killtopia) and even a bit Android Andy.

Shinji? That was awesome! Although I’m afraid I must be honest. Your absence was incredibly sub-optimal.

Vive la resistance

Add into the mix an underground movement ready to take the fight to the corporations at the next big event Wreck Fest X, and battle is truly joined.

This second installment of Killtopia has the advantage of not having to waste much time with exposition. It can get straight into the action. The plot flows pleasingly but the hidden strength of Killtopia is the dialog which is fantastic, bringing to life the attitudes of the books society and characters with a humorous edge. The book is also littered with nods to various comics and pop culture icons from Marshall Law to Peanuts. No doubt I missed a few, but I couldn’t miss those Akira superbikes and er, super scooters.

Art-wise there are no disappointments from Craig Paton. As with Volume One the illustrations bring the city to life from the penthouse to the sewers, with a particularly effective splash page following our heroes through the subterranean depths of the city. The colours drench the city in pustulent neon yellow and purple reflecting the disease that sweeps the streets.

So pick up a copy of Killtopia 2, crack open a tin of Kaiju Kola and enjoy the ride.

To get hold of the first two issues of Killtopia and to find out about the kickstarter for the next edition see the Killtopia Facebook page.

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