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Advance Review: We Only Kill Each Other #1

Comixology Original

Created by Stephanie Philips & Peter Krause

Written by Stephanie Phillips

Art by Peter Krause

Colors by Ellie Wright

Letters by Troy Peteri

We Only Kill Each Other. That title is a statement itself, isn’t it? Do we in fact only kill each other? How far does this statement go in life?

From Comixology and out THIS WEDNESDAY, November 16th, We Only Kill Each Other examines these questions and more through the lenses of the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s. Through the American lens, we see that not everyone is on the same page at this time- the Nazis aren’t considered evil by all yet, and, while the mistreatment of the Jews is not going unnoticed, it is being unpunished. Not dealt with. As someone who is a bit tired of these 1930’s/40’s historical fiction Nazi stories… wow does this tale offer a fresh take!

Stephanie Phillips has written multiple stories focusing on this time period before, albeit from a Jewish perspective, and each and every time she has killed it! First, her magnificent work on The Butcher of Paris, and now this series?? WOW! We Only Kill Each Other #1 focuses on a protagonist who is no hero, no villain, and yet… not even quite an anti-hero. He’s the flawed man we see in the bars fighting for no good reason but has the potential to be so much more. And he’s not the only one who is flawed or in the gray area… even the villains (that’s right, plural!) of this story aren’t written as completely evil.

If you know me, you know I’m a SUCKER for morally gray stories and characters. A huge reason I am is that reality and people are far less black and white than we think, and seeing a story written this way is SO refreshing. It really helps build the overall atmosphere of this time period. At this time in history, it wasn’t black and white, who was right or who was wrong, it was all still “up for debate”. How wild is that??

Philips is so phenomenal at writing characters and has a natural talent for writing authentic narration. This issue is no exception; the narration serves as a fantastic magnifying glass into what it felt like to live in 1930’s New York City. It makes our main character far more relatable; forces us to see the worst of ourselves in the current best of this main character.

Troy Peteri’s letters convey Phillips’ brilliant narration and dialogue fantastically. Our main character’s narration is seen in parchment scrolls, which only adds to the timely feel of this story. The text flows very well and is light on the eyes. It can be easy, especially with stories that have both large amounts of dialogue and narration, to get lost in the shape of every page, but Peteri ensures we are never lost!

Peter Krause’s art is MAGNIFICENT. Every piece of the page, from the people to the walls and the objects, has a beautiful texture to it; one that somehow speaks to the 1930s. I can’t wait till this comes out in print and I can literally feel the pages myself; even if I can’t completely feel the textures in the images, it’s worth it! Additionally, I love Krause’s use of shadows; somehow, the shadows can light up a person’s face more than the light can, and Krause perfectly demonstrates this with some select panels. All in all, Krause does the perfect job of capturing 1930’s New York City.

Ellie Wright’s chosen color palette of mostly muted yellows, purples, oranges, and reds is the perfect final piece to the art of this book. New York City was hardly ever bright then, but it had pieces of light hidden in the darkness, and Wright creates that atmosphere perfectly with these colors. This may be an unjust observation, but I did notice how some individuals in this book, seemingly innocent, wear duller colors that make them blend in, while other individuals such as the two “villains” wear red. Not sure if this was intentional or not or if I’m just seeing things, but… god do I love when colors are used in the most subtle but impactful ways!

Overall, We Only Kill Each Other is an absolute triumph. All the creators have taken a horrendous piece of history that has been told over and over again and worked together to bring a refreshing perspective on it. If you love historical fiction, you will cherish this issue, and if you love historical fiction AND morally grey characters, you will never want to let this issue out of your sight. We only add great comics to our pull lists, friends- and this is a great series that must be added! Make sure to get this on Comixology THIS WEDNESDAY, November 16th!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi Gives This:

5 out of 5 Finger guns

(because I’m bi)

You can find Lauren, Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi, at all her links here:

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