Ah, the 90s! When Bloodwynd was a Justice League member, and books unironically titled Youngblood and WildC.A.T.S. topped the sales charts. Oh, Killstrike #1 by Say Anything frontman Max Bemis and artist Logan Faerber is part parody, part love letter to this time in comics while telling a relatable human story. The premise is that Jared is a terrified new dad, who has decided to take a trip against his wife’s wishes to find Killstrike, which is arguably the worst comic of all time and ironically selling for six figures on “eJay”. He ends up meeting the real Killstrike, and hijinks ensue. Oh, Killstrike #1 is chock-full of silly dialogue and critiques of the Dark Age of Comics while also telling a story about how Jared struggles with his responsibilities even if his wife Meryl comes across as too much of a nag.
Logan Faerber gets to spread his wings as a humor cartoonist in Oh, Killstrike #1. His figure work is caricatured, but not mean-spirited for the most part. His depiction of Jay and Meryl’s son shows his understanding of how cute, ugly, and gross newborn babies are. Colorist Juan Manuel Tumurus adds an organic texture to his art with a subdued tone for the most of the comic. Faerber’s panel work isn’t elaborate, and this gives Oh, Killstrike a slice of life feel until it is broken with the opposite of dynamic full page spread. He has a lot of fun with the cartoonish physics of Killstrike and finds a nice sweet spot between the mundane and surreal.
Max Bemis’ characterization initially seem like sitcom archetypes, but his rapid fire dialogue and brilliant exploration of a 90s anti-hero, like Cable or that era’s incarnation of Wolverine or Punisher, more than make up for it. Bemis also gives Meryl and Jared a loving, yet sardonic relationship even if Meryl strays dangerously close to being a sitcom shrew. The opening scene of Oh, Killstrike #1 with Meryl making sardonic jokes, and Jared borderline hate-geeking about the old Killstrike comic is relatable to anyone who has had a significant other, who respects your hobbies, but not might be as passionate about them as you.
And Killstrike himself is the highlight of the book. His lines are too funny to mention, and Logan Faerber adds some hilarious details to his character design, like the fact that he carries these really small hunting knives even though he has bulging biceps.
Max Bemis and Logan Faerber’s satirical style in Oh, Killstrike #1 is gentle showing that both of them used to like these comics even if they were low quality and had some major problems in representation of female characters. They also poke fun at people (mostly comics bloggers) who spend most of their time bashing these easy target comics. Part superhero parody, part relationship drama, and a comedy through and through, Oh, Killstrike #1 is the perfect read for anyone who is nostalgic (ironically or not) for this era of comics.