"Kim Reaper #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Oni Press
Written and illustrated by Sarah Graley
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 14th, 2017
Do you remember the first time you screwed up at your first job? Maybe you gave someone the wrong change at the cash register or dropped a bunch of Sobe bottles all over the floor. (Both things that I've definitely done, FYI.) Now imagine how much worse that would be if you worked as a Grim Reaper. The punishments have to be a million times more severe, right? That's the situation Kim finds herself in after botching a cat soul reaping and taking care of a human soul that's way above her pay grade. She's dealing with Death here, so it's much more than just a mark on her permanent record. The Grim Reaper Council does not take this kind of stuff lightly. Plus, this one guy is kind of a dick.
The introduction of other Grim Reapers adds to the mythos of Kim Reaper and keeps it just as fun as it's always been. I absolutely love Sarah Graley's design for the chairman of the board (most definitely not Frank Sinatra). He's got this creepy permanent grin, like he's trying not to laugh as he's eating a lemon. His eyes are bright and mischievous. Plus, he's a skeleton, so the whole thing shouldn't even be happening.
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Kim isn't punished or reprimanded so much as she's given an impossible task. It's a nice twist that forces Kim to make a tough decision and stand up against the darkness in a big way. Even with life and death stakes, Graley maintains a near constant level of humor. You can't help but fall in love with these characters and their kooky adventures.
Much of this comes through in the relationship between Kim and Becka. Their roles are reversed here whereas in the first issue Kim was the cool, confident one and Becka was head-over-heels, swooning. This came about as a result of Kim's dangerous job and how hard that can be on the people who care about her. It's sweet and also a bit silly when you remember that Kim's job is to usher recently departed souls into the afterlife.
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For a comic centered around death, Kim Reaper looks full of life. It's a very colorful book that rallies against the doom and gloom of its subject matter. This only adds to the overall enjoyment of the series. There are also a number of sight gags spread throughout, such as fun t-shirts and posters that serve as cool little Easter eggs.
Kim Reaper is like a more casual and humorous Dead Like Me. Creator Sarah Graley has made Death fun. Sure, we all have to die at some point, but maybe it won't be that bad if someone like Kim or these strange Grim Reapers are the ones that shuffle us off this mortal coil.