Giant robots versus giant monsters? Sounds like a recipe for a great read. Whilst the idea seems straight forward, Michael May manages to surprise the reader with a great script that takes this concept in a whole new direction.
Kill All Monsters! starts with a bang. The opening pages give you exactly what you would expect if you were to judge this book by its cover. The entire first issue that makes up this volume is filled with monster vs machine mayhem. You get to meet the team behind the monster slaying and the units that they pilot. Each machine has a single pilot at the helm, giving us a handful of protagonists that the reader can identify with. These pilots show their personalities quite well, even though they are attempting to showcase it via the actions and commands they make during battle.
The opening scene is totally over the top, but in a good way, as we see the Eifel Tower being used to gore monsters. You also get introduced to a Mecha named Deathstork. The fight culminates in a scene which shows that the monsters have affected the world as we know it; they have altered humanity since their first appearance in 1953. After this opening battle, due to the situation they are in, we get to learn a little more about the pilots of these giant robots.
As we get learn more about each pilot and how they came to be killers of monsters, a nice new addition takes place, in both the story and the team. The man that has brought this band of brothers together has invented something new. A giant robot driven by its own A.I. sounds promising but the team will soon learn that it is not as easy as it would seem. With so many different parties and factions at play it is interesting to see how this story pans out. There is so much more than giant robot vs ugly monsters on offer. The monsters are of all different shapes and sizes so there is a chance to see man vs monster as well!
This is a black and white comic that leaves little room for errors in art. The line work in Copeland’s illustrations is impressive and makes the most frantic of battles easy to follow and pleasing on the eye. The art makes a nice subtle shift as the focus is placed on the pilots. The lines become smoother and the proportions get given a little more attention. The grayscale Ben-Day dot used on the images give it a nice pulp feel and adds a little life and texture to each page. This, accompanied by excellent lettering, creates a great visual experience.
This graphic novel makes for an enjoyable read; you do not even have to like the genre to appreciate it! With great action sequences, a good script and well-drawn characters and environments this book proves that black and white can thrive even if the story involves the most advanced pieces of technology to ever be created!