Written by: B. Clay Moore, Art by: Fernando Dagnino, Cover Art by: Cully Hammer
Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by their former sensei, the mysterious Jonin. Trained to channel their “ki” to perform superhuman feats in the shadow wars between the secret agencies of the world, these agents of death will team up to compete for the ultimate prize… life itself. Brought together to find the secret of immortality, these lethal weapons will have to face a murderous gauntlet and each other in order to win what they desire most. Collecting the complete five-issue KILLERS limited series.
The Killers is a good read, let me be clear about that right up front. I enjoyed it, and its got plenty to like. The story introduces us to a bunch of super powered ninjas, and follows them on an epic quest – what’s not to like? There’s plenty of enemies to fight, and even reasons for them to face off against each other, so the action is never dull. Each ninja has a fairly interesting back story, and an impressive power to explain, so there’s plenty of secrets to unfold. The art is crisp, clear, and colorful. So, it’s not that there’s anything to not like – but everything still manages to fall short of loving it.
The main draw here is clearly the ninjas, and like any superhero team, they’ve got their hidden traumas and skeletons in the closet. There’s tension as they team up and drift apart and face off, but in the end, that doesn’t come to anything. Not to delve into the details, but everything resolves itself a little too easily. Sure, they’re super ninjas, but not for a moment is there the feeling they could fail, or even that they had to break a sweat. We’re told the stakes are high, but there’s little to no doubt they’ll overcome somehow. It doesn’t do the build up justice.
But The Killers is still a fun time, even if it doesn’t really pay off. The art alone makes the book worth taking a look at, and fans of ninja action will not be let down. And if the point of the book is to leave us wanting more, it does that just fine. I’m just a little disappointed because things could have been much better with just a few changes. A little more internal conflict and a little more agonizing over the consequences, and everything these dudes went through would have been much more impactful. Still, a “B” isn’t anything to be upset about. The book is 100% worth the price of admission. It’s just a shame that true greatness was so close the whole time.
A Fine Outing That Just Never Reaches Greatness
The Killers has quite an ensemble cast, and trying to balance everyone's screen time may be why everyone fails to shine. It's a good read, but everything is a little too straight and easy, and happens so fast that the book falls just short of being truly impressive.