THE KILL LOCK Trade Paperback (collects issues 1-6) – Robots Not In Disguise (Ramondelli, Long) IDW Publishing

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Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!

This six-part trade weaves a fascinating science fiction tale about four robots thrown together who must learn to work together to survive. Through flashbacks we learn the backstory of each of the four main characters, which results in remarkably human robots. The present day tale fills in some of the details about this robot society, while wisely leaving much to the imagination about how this robot society developed.

While the characters are robots and they tend to fit pretty common character archetypes, they grow and change through the course of the story. Between learning more about their past and the twists thrown in throughout the story, the story maintains an excellent pace. I was so into the story that when my iPad stopped working, I ran downstairs to my computer to reload my review copy.

The art took some time for me to get used to. It’s a little dark and hazy and without context going in, I had some difficulty figuring out what was going on. But as I read on, it really grew on me. The style and color palette match the tone of the story perfectly. Once I became familiar with the main characters, I appreciated how they were depicted. Each of the characters has a unique design that fits their personality. One of the characters has a different font in his speech bubbles, which added a layer of characterization while making it stand out.

While readers will find many of the elements of this story in other works, THE KILL LOCK puts them together to create something new and refreshing. There is a great mix of dark humor and sadness in the story. THE KILL LOCK was a book I didn’t want to put down until I got to the end. There is some cursing and robot ‘death’ so some parental discretion is advised.

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