Review - Run Love Kill #1

"I've learned to appreciate the moments alone."

Chances are the future of humanity will see any remaining survivors "living" in a dystopian society where danger lurks around every corner. At least, that's what many sci-fi stories will have you believe. Run Love Kill #1 from Image Comics isn't one to stray too far from that paradigm. The issue is written by Jon Tsuei and Eric Canete, illustrated by Canete and colored/lettered by Leonardo Olea.

Sought after by elements from her violent past, fugitive and assassin Rain Oshiro has just 24 hours to escape a barricaded city while trying to evade a military force determined to either capture or kill her. Rain's fears arise from suspicions that the military known as Origami has ulterior motives that don't take the citizens' interests into heart.

Opening the issue with a series of pages focused on a frenetic fight/escape was an interesting choice, as it immediately thrusts the reader into the thick of things. Tsuei and Canete want the reader to know that the world of Run Love Kill #1 is far from Utopia, but aside from that there's not a lot for the reader to grab onto. Rain demonstrates a frenzied desire to escape the city, yet her motivations for doing so are a little fuzzy. There's little depth in her characterization, forcing the reader to rely on preconceived notions as to what role she's attempting to fill. All of the characters have almost a singular purpose in the story, which is to propel forward a certain stereotype for each character that fits within the larger narrative as a whole.

While the story in treads on generally familiar ground, the art is very detailed. Canete's approach relies on flurries of panels on each page, all of which work in concert to give the reader a glimpse into the "run" part of the book's title. Much of the context of the story is earned through his art, as it demonstrates a fantastic level of detail all-around that really hammer home points of the story itself. The black gutters further the air of mystery surrounding the city and its inhabitants, offering a very grim portrayal of the world Rain is forced to contend with. This world is further brought to life by Olea's colors, all of which are suprisingly vibrant considering they don't really escape darker tones.

Run Love Kill #1 has a lot of ambition to be a new take on old sci-fi classics, but it falls a little short. The title of the book is enough to pique a reader's interest, yet the contents of the first issue don't really flesh out much of the premise beyond running. Tsuei and Canete offer multiple characters, none of whom seem to really stand out from traditional characters in a work like this. Canete's art is gorgeous and goes a long way in completing the comic's delivery, offering insights into gaps in the story not covered through dialogue or plot. Run Love Kill #1 is the first of eight issues, so it's got plenty of time to give readers more information to grab onto and finish out as an interesting series.

Run Love Kill #1 is in stores now with interiors below.