KILL OR BE KILLED by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (cover by Phillips, all rights remain with current holder) is an interesting variation on vigilante characters: after attempting suicide by jumping off a building, Dylan impossibly survives. A demon figure (real? Imaginary?) tells him that to keep his miraculous life the man needs to offer up one life a month. So off he goes to hunt down bad people, people vile enough to deserve execution. It’s to the creators’ credit that it held my interest despite some flaws (would anyone Dylan’s age actually remember the 1970s film Death Wish?).
RASL: The Drift by Jeff Smith was a more promising series start. The eponymous protagonist is an art thief who uses a dimension-jumping device to get away after his heists. Unfortunately this time he lands in an alt.Earth and doesn’t know how to get back, not to mention that a reptilian hit man is tracking him across parallel worlds. A strong beginning.
SECRET IDENTITY by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen starts out with a Midwestern kid growing up burdened with the name of Clark Kent — which becomes less of a burden when it turns out he does, in fact, have powers just like the guy in the comics. But how can he use them effectively? What do the sinister government agents want from him? Can he balance his secret identity with his love for an Indian-American woman named Lois? This reflects Busiek’s view that comics and superpowers can make an effective metaphor for life (growing old, having kids, falling in love, etc.) and it works reasonably well, though it didn’t blow me away.