Kill All Monsters!, vol. #1: Ruins of Paris

Kill All MonstersGiant robots controlled by humans take on clawed, bloodthirsty monsters in the streets of Paris! This is the first time these technological innovations have been seen outside their home continent of Africa. Developed to combat the monsters that were created by atomic testing in the 1950s, these robot warriors are tough enough to defeat the enormous creatures, but sustain damages that leave them stuck in Paris. Waiting for a reinforcement mechanic and the first autonomous robot, the human warriors take to the streets where they are hunted by smaller monsters looking for a snack. Luckily, the local Parisians lend a hand—albeit dressed more like Conan the Barbarian than the traditionally fashion-forward French—and lead the group into the catacombs for safety. Further discoveries and additional action lead the reader to an intriguing mystery, to be continued in volume two.

The story is oddly paced, with entire chapters of action scenes followed by rapid plot development sequences. The intriguing monster origin story and the tension between the human warriors and A.I. robot helped pull me through, though I found myself confused on several occasions. The story jumps around a bit, with character development often stemming from a need for exposition. Despite its attempts at philosophical musings, the book is essentially an action story. Of course, since it is based on the premise that giant robots are fighting mega-monsters in Paris, that much is to be expected.

The art is gritty with rough lines dominating the broad shots and action sequences, nicely juxtaposed with the solid, smooth technology inside the robots. Yet, I couldn’t help but think of the Power Rangers whenever I looked at the robots and the pyramids in vague “Africa” looked like they would be much more at home in the Central American jungle. Despite some generic visual elements, the monsters are scary and the action is gripping.

Overall, I felt that the book needed more refinement: I liked the twists and turns of the story, but I expected a little more cohesion. However, its cool Kickstarter campaign, online presence, and humble origins could make up for its shortcomings. Besides, you could sell this book to a sci-fi/action lover with the simple phrase: “so there are these giant robots who fight vicious monsters in Paris…”.

Kill All Monsters!, vol. #1: Ruins of Paris
by Michael May
Art by Jason Copland, Ed Brisson
ISBN: 9781934985304
Alterna Comics, 2013
Publisher Age Rating: Young Adult