Milan K volume 1 header image

Milan K. v1 “The Price of Survival”

A Word About the Title

The full title of this album is:

Milan K
Part One: The Teenage Years
Book 1: The Price of Survival

I don’t even know where to put the quotes in all that.

It looks like they’re planning this as a trilogy of trilogies. So far only the first book is complete, with Humanoids offering all three of those books in the “Teenage” cycle digitally and in print together as an omnibus edition of sorts.

For this review, I’m reviewing the 52 page chapter of the first Book, which is also the first Part of the first trilogy.

Got it?  Good, let’s go:


A Russian Boy Becomes a Teenager, The Hard Way

Russian President Palin at this desk.

Russia’s leader, one President Palin (see above) who looks a little bit like current President Putin but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, plays hardball.  When he wants someone wiped off the face of the planet, he can do it.  He can cover his tracks.  Nobody will believe him and everyone will see right through it, but what are you going to do?

This is the story of Misha, whose father fell afoul of Palin, and was taken from his home and thrown in jail.  Fast forward a decade or so, and we catch up to Misha at a private school, accompanied by his dad’s bodyguard for safe keeping. All’s well and good until the Russians find him and send a helicopter, some guys with machine guns, and even a rocket launcher after him.


Milan and Igor at school

It’s a little crazily over the top, like a Michael Bay movie.  Writer Sam Timel tries to add some heart to it.  He positions Misha as the victim of a horrible political event who just wants to live a normal teenage life but can’t.  Then Timel makes Misha’s life worse a couple times over.

Actually, make that three or four times better. He’s really good about making his lead character suffer.  I’m getting old and soft; that kind of stuff bothers me after awhile, especially when it happens for either no good reason or just to push a plot ahead rather than speak to a specific character.

I just had a hard time buying it.  It felt like Timel mixed all the old action movie tropes together and created a greatest hits of set pieces and character moments. There’s some mysteries with Misha’s father that are interesting, and the book ends with Misha in perhaps his worst position yet, though with a faint glimmer of hope.

I’ll read the next two part of this story, but likely won’t be reviewing them here unless something changes.  There’s a strong chance this series could go off in a more interesting direction in the next book, and we’ll look back on this album and think of the growing pains of setting up a story.


The Art

The art by Corentin is good.  It strikes a good balance between photorealism and something cartoonier.  He’s capable of exaggeration just enough to make things look interesting and not stiff.

There’s a good selection of angles in his panels, and I never had a problem following the story from panel to panel, even when there’s a car chase through the streets of L.A.

The colors are bright and keep the art front and center.  There’s no muddying lines up here, though there are times when it feels a little too simple.  The colors are almost all literal.  The grass is green, the sky is blue, the clouds are white.  There’s not color keying or attempts to give the lighting its own color.

The cover image has colors with extra texture and contrast.  That doesn’t carry through to the insides of the book as much as I would have hoped.

And the lettering is clear and interesting looking. I’ll give it that.



Milan K. volume 1 cover

Meh. It’s not bad. It’s not illogical. This first book just feels soulless.  If you want the story of a young rich guy whose father had lots of money and who now gets into crazy adventures, go read “Largo Winch” instead.

(This is Pipeline BD 100 review #76.)


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1 Comment

  • JC LEBOURDAIS October 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Trilogy of trilogies? Oh, ffs. There was a time when authors could tell a complete story with beginning middle and end in 52 pages. Hell, there was a time when it was done in 6 to 8 pages on a consistent basis.


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