Archaia Comic's brilliant series The Killer Modus Vivendi continues in this third issue. The extremely likable Killer finds himself in Cuba with another assassination contract but his patience is waining as he continues to be used by a client he's never met.
Matz has once again done a tremendous job with the story in issue three. The Killer is probably one of the most instantly likable psychopaths ever created. He's smart, well spoken, cultured and he doesn't beat around the bush. The opening pages, where the Killer talks about democracy, freedom, propaganda and the horrible actions of humans over history really open your eyes and make you want to read them again and find out more about these instances. It's also refreshing to see Matz dedicate so many pages to make a point. He just as easily could have said "I don't want to kill a guy for the CIA because I don't like them" or something equally less time consuming, but, instead, he dedicates ten pages to the Killer's decision, and this really helps you to understand and relate to the character.
Outside of the Killer's reluctance to go through with his latest contract Matz, is crafting a thoroughly enjoyable thriller which seems to escalate with every issue. More people become involved; the stakes continue to be raised and the tension is building as the Killer attempts to work his way out of a very tricky situation. Once again the thing I like about The Killer and Matz's technique is the use of time and pacing. Everything feels very carefully done and measured out. There are no rash decisions made, and he's cautious of everyone even his new Cuban friends. This helps sell the Killer as a psychopath assassin trying to ensure his survival. His back is to the wall, but he's not prepared to do anything stupid just yet. Meanwhile, the dialogue almost reads like a film script, and it's of the highest calibre. Like everything in this comic no words are wasted and everything said feels like it has real weight behind it.
Jacamon continues to provide solid artwork to go with Matz's story. The Killer's musing on freedom and the human condition had a bit of a globe trotting feel to it, and Jacamon captures each period or country superbly with great variety in the artwork. There's something about Jacamon's art which makes you feel like you know these people, you know these places and you can imagine yourself being there. I don't know whether it's his great use of a variety of colors or the very natural, very real character and background designs that achieve this but its great. There's also something like restraint in his artwork when viewed as a whole. Throughout the issue there will be a series of panels involving some people just casually chatting or going about their day, and then — BAM — there's a scared little African boy with machete slashes across his face, a burnt out tank or a crocodile viciously attacking a water buffalo. He almost lulls you into this everyday, normal feel and then throws out stunning, powerful and memorable images at you.
The Killer Modus Vivendi issue three continues the brilliant work Matz and Jacamon have done in the previous issues. The story is smart and interesting and makes you really want to read it, while the Killer becomes a more likable, deep and intriguing character as the series goes on. There aren't too many pairings that are as good as Matz and Jacamon at the moment.