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The Killer Modus Vivendi Hardcover Collection Comic Review - -

Story 8.0
Art 8.5
Value 8.0
Total 8.3
Publisher: Archaia Press
Release Date: Jan 2011
Reviewer: Troy Mayes


The Killer Modus Vivendi Hardcover Collection

Writer Matz and artist Luc Jacamon look to have another hit on their hands with the sci-fi series Cyclops, but before Archaia started translating that their hit series The Killer was already wowing audiences. If you havenít been following The Killer then the Modus Vivendi hardcover collection is a great place to start.  

In Modus Vivendi the Killer has been out of the game for four years, but all that inaction is starting to bug him so he takes a job. What at first seems like an easy bit of work turns out to have more twists and turns than the Killer ever could have imagined. Soon heís working for people he doesnít trust, doing things with big political ramifications and his own life is on the line, but hey at least he met a hot Cuban agent.  

Matzís plot reads like itís been taken out of a high stakes espionage film, where the lead is a psychopathic assassin. There are a lot of players involved with shady goals and itís a very smart and even sophisticated story dealing with tense political issues. At times there did seem like one too many participants in the plot and it was hard to keep track of whoís who and what they were doing, like the Quebec arc, but Matz manages to keep the story in control most of the time.  

The Killer is a very captivating lead character for a psychopath, think of Dexter Morgan. Matzís gives the Killer limited dialogue but a lot of thought bubbles. This gives the Killer a dual personality and subsequently a lot of depth as a character. His philosophical musings can get a little over the top when reading the whole 178 page book, but generally his thoughts on history, society and the human condition are worth the read. I particularly enjoyed any comments on historical events and the accompanying artistic portrayal by Jacamon as the ideas the Killer was presenting were very fleshed out and thought provoking. I also enjoyed the focus being on a bad guy. Not many comics will show the lead character killing a nun and not really caring or a security guard just because he doesnít like the idea behind them. Matz does give the Killer a bit of humanity and vulnerability in the shape of his family. It gives him something to worry about and care about apart from himself and it helps the reader to go along with some of his actions as they are to help his family. Sometimes it does feel like a relief that the Killer doesnít talk as some of the other characters do blather a bit but the friendship between the Killer and Mariano is a well developed one.    

Jacamonís art is impressive especially for a book like this. The generous use of bright and vibrant colors seems at odds with the dark nature of the book. Anyone else probably would have made the image dirtier and darker but Jacamon captures the life and vibrancy of South America in his artwork. Matz doesnít have a lot of action in his script but when he does Jacamon certainly makes it pop with a liberal splashing of blood. Jacamon displays that the Killer is a cold assassin through the often lack of expression in his face while heís killing, adding to the depth of the character. Occasionally youíll experience some confusion between characters; the Killer is quite distinct but some other characters not so much. Also not a fault of Jacamon or Matz but in some of the speech the words run into each other making two words appear as one, I assume a problem with translating from French and trying to fit it in the existing bubbles.   

If youíre looking to branch out from the typical superhero comics then The Killer Modus Vivendi hardcover collection is a good place to start. It displays the variety of the industry and the quality that can be found outside the big studios. A compelling lead character, thrilling story and highly skilled artist make this a brilliant series to read.


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