Based on the title, the cover, and the description on the back of the book, I was excite to buy and read Epic Kill by Raffaele Ienco. It looked action packed I hoped for some originality. However, as I read the book, all that I could think about was the other iconic stories that included Asian women as badass killers: Kill Bill, David Mack’s Kabuki, Executive Assistant Iris and even the various Asian killers that The Big 2 and others have generated over the years.
There is a glut of female Asian killers in the storytelling industry and like a similar glut, zombies, if a creator can’t do something new and interesting with it, it’s really just generating compost. Now, let’s get something straight, I am not saying that women or Asian women can’t kick ass – I’m saying that in American comics, the Asian female badass archetype has become over used and therefore less impactful, both for Asian female characters and badass kilers. Asian female characters are capable of so much more.
The story in Epic Kill brings back additional memories of another female Asian Badass, Kabuki. Song, from Epic Kill finds herself in an insane asylum and throughout much of the book, she is constantly shifting from one version of reality to another. In Kabuki, Mack takes us down a similar road but he handles it better because it allows him to explore new areas of the character through his beautiful art. With Epic Kill, it becomes jarring and difficult for the reader to keep track of where she is and what she’s doing.
In the end, Epic Kill turned out to be an exploration of overused archetypes and easy metaphors that I will just not have the time to come back to.