I’m feeling very conflicted about the new Killraven series that’s been announced by Marvel As a fan of his original stories in Amazing Adventures, I should be real excited, right? Well, hold the phone. Robert Kirkman is writing it, which is OK, as I like his Walking Dead comic, but it’s being drawn by Rob (Kirby of the 90s) Liefeld… ugh.
The original (1970s) Killraven stories were set 20 years after the Martians conquered the world in 2001. The Martians in this case being the same aliens from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds returned for a second invasion and this time protected from earth’s germs. It was very wild and wahoo, as Killraven, an ex gladiator, tries to liberate the planet with his band of freemen. It had a very Gamma World-y feel with all manner of strange mutants and post-apocalyptic themes. Earth had become almost Barsoom-like. The series did suffer from a dizzying of array rotating creators before Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell got control of the title. It was cancelled before any kind of resolution, but some plotlines were resolved in a 1983 graphic novel. All these stories have been collected in Essential Killraven if you happen to care.
What hasn’t been depicted was how the Martians were overthrown and the earth liberated. As I said in my post about canceled comics, the Guardians of the Galaxy title was just about to reveal this when it got canceled. The Kirkman and Liefeld version is a whole new reality for the character
Kirkman was aware of the Killraven character before he landed the assignment but didn't know much about his back-story. "I've been reading some stuff to have a passing knowledge of it, but [the new miniseries] establishes a new continuity and new take on the character," Kirkman explained. "So, it's not going to be conflicting with any of the old stuff. I kind of just wanted to move forward with the basic concept of the character without having any kind of extra baggage."From the CBR article here
OK, Killraven hasn’t been a big hit in the word of comics. He’s kinda a niche character that road the wave of post-apocalyptic comics of the 1970s. Plus, there wasn’t a Martian invasion in 2001, So understand why Kirkman would want to start from scratch, but there have already been other revamps of the character: the Alan Davis version and Avengers Forever version. Still, what I really want to see is how the Martians got kicked out in the original continuity but I guess… that boat has sailed for good. So, I’d be willing to shell out a few bucks for a totally revamped Killraven with crazy post-apocalyptic adventures if it weren’t for… Liefeld. Gawd, this guy art sucks. Learn perspective dude. Liefeld must be doing Killraven because Killraven is not a well-known character and so good old Rob is not gonna piss off a lot of people.
I might be desperate for Killraven stories… but I’m not THAT desperate.