REVIEW: 'We Only Kill Each Other (comiXology Originals)' #4 by Stephanie Phillips, Peter Krause, and Ellie Wright


We Only Kill Each Other (comiXology Originals) #4

Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Peter Krause
Colored by Ellie Wright
Cover byDave Johnson
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Digital Release Date February 15, 2022
Age Rating 15+ Only
Sold by comiXology

The year is 1938. The threat of World War II looms over the United States, where Nazi sympathizers and fascists have taken root on American soil in alarming numbers. In New York City, resistance to the American Nazi movement grows amongst the ranks of Jewish-American gangsters. Enter Jonas Kaminsky, a rising small-time gangster who's embroiled in a turf war with Levi Solomon, an old-time mob boss with millions tied up in gambling and booze. When thrown together in an unexpected circumstance, it turns out that the one thing these gangsters hate more than each other is Nazis.

★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Historical fiction doesn't get any better than this. 'We Only Kill Each Other' by Stephanie Phillips, Peter Krause, and Ellie Wright is a thrill-a-minute time capsule that delivers action amid a growing global threat. The story of rival gangsters working together to take down domestic Nazis has enough twists and turns to keep the plot moving but their relationship is as intriguing and layered as the greater storyline. 

Solomon and Jonas have a complicated kinship. Solomon is the reigning mob boss, a gangster who's seen it all and knows every angle. Jonas is a would-be usurper, a petulant and cocky up-and-comer whose impatience to take over the streets of New York has put him squarely in conflict with Solomon. Now, working together to face a common enemy, the two have a contentious relationship as they battle both the cops and homegrown Nazis. Solomon seems more amused by the young Jonas than threatened. Jonas is more annoyed and fed up with Solomon. Waiting to get this whole Nazi menace situation over with to take over Solomon's territory. Little does he know this is just the beginning of the Nazi threat. 

Paired with Phillips' ear for era-appropriate dialogue and great pacing, Peter Krause does a fantastic job capturing the look and feel of early-20th century life in New York. From fashion to cars to buildings, Krause drops the reader in the middle of 1938. Ellie Wright's water earthly colors give everything a vintage sheen that feels classic without looking dated. The parallels between the D.A. and the local Nazi propagandist are handled with urgency and eerie similarities as they both look for the Jewish gangsters. 

'We Only Kill Each Other' #4 is a marvelous historical comic that sparkles with intrigue, bullets, and real-world stakes. Using the larger canvas of a nation on the cusp of war, this smaller story verberates with modern-day relevance and caution. This is a gangster story with layers and is totally entertaining.