Archaia Comics The Killer — Modus Vivendi has to be one of the smartest, most engrossing comics I have ever read. The story really starts to develop in the second issue as The Killer finds himself in a rare position; he actually has something to lose.
Matz's tale seems so carefully constructed that not a page is wasted in telling the story. He really gets behind the motivations of The Killer, his reasoning for why he does what he does and reading The Killer's thoughts on death and children you can't help but understand his position and the reasoning for his actions. For ages I've been wanting to read a story where the main character isn't exactly squeaky clean and in The Killer I've found that. He's an assassin, he kills people for money and doesn't really give a damn about the consequences. But he's a lot deeper than a homicidal maniac, and that makes him very interesting. I could listen to him talk about life and death, the primal instincts of children and the cut-throat world of assassins all day long. The internal dialogue in issue #2 is some of the best I've ever read.
It's also hard not to get sucked in by the story, which is full of so much deceit, mystery, back-stabbing and double crossing that you can't help but want to find out what's going to happen next. It almost reads like a noir tale or one of Luc Besson's highly stylized assassin films as The Killer is drawn deeper into one client's quest to push both The Killer and South America to its breaking point.
While the story is full of intrigue and has a lot of things happening, the thing that made The Killer enjoyable to read is that it didn't feel like you were zipping through the story at a million miles an hour. It deals with some pretty weighty issues and actually poses questions about life and death, and these questions are best posed when the reader is given time to think about them. The Killer does that.
Luc Jacamon's artwork is superb. It's very bright, and the South American locale of Venezuela, with its mix of rain forest/jungle with the city, really jumps off the page at you. The art is, at times, a mixture of the simplistic with the incredibly detailed. The fact that it doesn't show you a hell of a lot of killing doesn't take anything away from the acts. In fact the choice to not show it, at times, makes it more powerful. Death can be so overdone in comics, so to see it handled in this way was rather refreshing. When it does show it, it's short, sharp and bloody and almost acts as a reminder that a life can be over so quickly.
The Killer — Modus Vivendi #2 was a riveting read. There's a lot to like from the intriguing story, to the lead character to the brilliant artwork from Jacamon. It really can't be labeled as anything but a must buy.