Review – The Kill Lock #2 (IDW Publishing)

The Kill Lock #2 (IDW Publishing) cover (detail) by Livio Ramondelli
  • Writing - 9.3/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.9/10
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The Kill Lock #2

Writer: Livio Ramondelli
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Maturity Rating: Mature
Release Date: January 22, 2020

The Artisan, The Laborer, The Wraith and The Kid all find themselves on a new world trying to solve the same problem. How to stop the Kill Lock. What got them into this in the first place and can they ever get out?


Constraints in The Kill Lock #2

Narrowly escaping one hostile planet, our protagonists land on another hostile world in search of a cure in The Kill Lock #2. Four very different robots, sentenced together for various crimes with the kill lock: if one dies they all die. The Artisan is a nefarious murderer that more than likely well deserves this and more. The Wraith, once a warrior on the battlefield, wants to renounce his violent ways, but staying alive and keeping the others alive has not aligned well with his new sensibilities. The Laborer was once an everyday “blue-collar” worker; his addiction got the better of him and caused something terrible. All these have done something to endure the Kill Lock. But what of the fourth? What of the child? What could he possibly have done to be sentenced to the Kill Lock? Find this out and more in The Kill Lock #2.


The Kill Lock #2 (IDW Publishing) cover by Livio Ramondelli
The Kill Lock #2 (IDW Publishing) cover by Livio Ramondelli

Alright, I am all in with this series with The Kill Lock #2. Just some beautiful writing by Livio Ramondelli. I love the different themes and motives we go through in this second issue. Each character is wonderfully individualistic and interesting, all in their own right. I love how Ramondelli has them play off each other. From the Artisan and his serial-killer narcissism to the Child’s awe and wonder of the world, it all just works so well together.

Ramondelli also does a wonderful balancing act in The Kill Lock #2. It is serious and very dramatic with its tone at times, dealing with what these characters did to deserve the Kill Lock and what they are having to do to try and save themselves. It is all a very morose, moody and dramatic story for the characters. The issue can be a very glum read, but Ramondelli throws in some delightfully dark humor here and there that I can’t help but catch myself smiling at. It is a great mixture that really helps “lighten” up the story a bit at times.

The story has this nice mix of fantasy/sci-fi with excellent humanity type themes throughout. Ramondelli does an excellent job of pacing the story well. The Kill Lock #2 feels jam-packed full of story and he has slowly revealed different aspects of characters superbly well throughout these past two issues, that I have already built a strong connection with.


For the most part, I believe the art in The Kill Lock #2 is very well done. Ramondelli catches that moody, dark atmosphere incredibly well. It is just that at times it feels a little too dark and muddy. I had the same kind of problem with the first issue. In some of the opening scenes, I had trouble telling exactly what was going on.

I think it might be that we have some close-up visuals and that, coupled with the darker colors at times, make it a little hard to discern what is happening.

Other than that, the art is tremendously well done. Again, I just love the designs for all these robots. Our four main characters have some amazing designs to them. I love how each “class” of robot has a similar design with different details in them. Ramondelli also builds up the dramatics of the story well with some well-managed panel layouts and structure. It is a good bit of visual storytelling throughout the issue.

Ramondelli also adds excellent background details. Every world feels very “lived in” and or “alive”. There is a hustle and bustle and there is a feeling of things going on besides what our main characters are doing.


After reading The Kill Lock #2 I am just infatuated with this story and want to see where it is going. The characters all have interesting backstories and play off each other so well. Ramondelli has also done a fantastic job of building up this crazy robot world of The Kill Lock. It has its own set of rules, planets, and all kinds of wonderful sci-fi things. Ramondelli also makes the characters relatable. You can feel for these characters and really be put into their “shoes”. It all comes together to form a story you are not going to want to miss out on.

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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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