The Greatest Webcomic You’ve Never Heard Of
A few months ago, I was doing what I do best: messing around on the internet. Usually it’s trying to hunt down niche stuff like Lord of The Rings anime or see what all the hate is about with regards to a new series. Usually I find stuff that’s pretty good. Sometimes okay. And of course, a lot of stuff I find is bad. But it’s the rare and happy day when I find something so awesome, so gloriously worthy of praise that I am called to crack open my computer and write a 1,500 word essay about it like I’m some college kid working on a lil’ thesis or something (I went to art school so I didn’t have to write any of that bullshit). But today, I am that plucky young college student. And instead of writing about something boring like economics or Tolstoy or moral relativism, I get to write about something cool.
And the webcomic Kill Six Billion Demons by Tom Parkinson-Morgan is fucking cool.
Honestly stop what you’re doing. Stop right now. Close out of this page and open the above hyperlink and just read it. Because the more you read my silly-ass writing the more you’ll think “oh maybe I should read more of this silly-ass writing so I can be convinced to spend five minutes reading a new thing that I may or may not like.” Well listen, if you want to read a whole article about why you should read this comic then I am happy to write it for you, but for all the people who value their time I’m just gonna give a lil’ bidduvuh summary: sorority girl travels to city at the center of the multiverse to save boyfriend from the seven evil kings that rule creation.
Dope right? Go read it.
Fine. I’ll write the rest of the article.
Okay so the story starts with college girl Allison and her crusty boyfriend Zaid on the precipice of being in flagrate delicto. For the virgins here, that means they’re about to have sex. But here’s the thing, Allison is a virgin too, so it’s taking her a little while to warm up to the idea of … intercourse. So just before they can do the dead, an INTERDIMENSIONAL PORTAL OPENS UP IN THEIR BEDROOM AND THE FORMER KING OF THE MULTIVERSE RIDES IN WHILE BEING CHASED BY ANGELS MADE OF STONE AND PLANTS A COSMIC JEWEL IN THE CENTER OF ALLISON’S BROW BEFORE THE ANGELS CUT OFF HIS HEAD AND STEAL HER BOYFRIEND. Go back and re-read that sentence again, then scroll up and click the link. You’re not still not going to? OH. MY. GODS OF THE SEVEN HEAVENS.
So after Allison gets the stone put in her face, she is then warped into the center of the universe into a city called Throne. The city is home to a myriad of creatures, including hideous demons, alien species, more stone angels, and a few other humans for the fun of it. Like the very best of us would, she freaks the hell out. After causing a bit of mayhem in her confused state, she is rescued by an angel named 82 White Chain Born In Emptiness Returns To Subdue Evil (yes that’s her name) from some particularly nasty gangster-goblins who run the Pleasure Guild. White Chain then reveals to Allison that the stone in her head is a mythical superweapon called The Key of Kings, capable of splitting reality itself apart. It is treasure highly sought after by the seven evil kings of creation: The Demiurges, who each rule 111,111 of the 777,777 universes. White Chain tries to convince Allison that the best course of action would be to remove the stone from her head (because the demiurges are not to be messed with) Allison decides that she needs to go ahead and fuck with them to save her boyfriend Zane. Why? Because according to an ancient prophecy, a chosen one from another world will coming bearing the Key of Kings and annihilate The Seven. They shall wield the terrible Blade of Want, and their name shall be: Kill Six Billion Demons.
The Seven think that the person who will become Kill Six Billion Demons is Zaid. And boy, do they have another thing coming.
So seriously. READ IT.
STILL NOT CONVINCED? Fine. Then I give my word as 47 Mary Sue Bearing Useless Internet Knowledge Microwaves Poptarts At Midnight that by the end of this article, you shall be.
So let’s start with world building, or rather 777,777 universe building. It’s perhaps some of the most detailed, thorough, and wildly creative retellings of theological beliefs from around the world that I have ever seen. Yes elements of Abrahamic religion are heavily featured, such as angels and demons, but the world itself borrows most heavily from Eastern religions and philosophy. The Ultimate Creator of the Universe, a genderless being named YISSUN, is fundamentally a Buddha-like figure who teaches metaphysical concepts to their disciples. It’s part science fiction and part philosophy, and yet each of the teachings of YISSUN have a beautiful and bizarre truth to them. The work itself seems divinely inspired, and many of the writings from the multiverse’s holy scripture “The Song of Maybe” are truly profound. The scriptures are parables are written in text below each panel of the comic, and featured below the first few pages of the main story is a parable in which Yissun asks one of his disciples what the true name of God is. And then, Yissun answers the question, and the mind blowing thing is it’s a really good answer. In fact, it’s the only answer it could possibly be. I won’t spoil it, but it’s simultaneously simple and profound, and that’s just one of the hundreds of stories and parables that the author has written for the comic. AND IT’S NOT EVEN PART OF THE COMIC.
The comic itself, meanwhile, is equally rich. The art is rendered in beautiful and excruciating detail. Panels unfold like paintings. Like a frame Kentaroo Muira’s Berserk, one could spend an hour finding new details in the sprawling panels. The designs of the characters are equally breath taking, and familiar mythological creatures such as angel, goblins, and dragons are giving completely unrecognizable makeovers. Angels for instance, are formless multidimensional beings that inhabit stone bodies in order to exist in the physical world. They have a number in front of their names (i.e. 82 White Chain) to refer to the amount of times that they have died and reincarnated. They are multiversal peacekeepers, divine warrior monks sworn to uphold The Law and punish evildoers. And they do it by beating the tar out of law breakers using angelic martial arts. Yes, this webcomic is just as much an action manga as it is a religious text. There are absolutely glorious fight sequences between characters that are not to be missed. Demons (or “devils”) are equally interesting, and like angels, are creatures that inhabit the space between worlds. They are brought into the physical plane by sorcerers through a process knowing as “masking” where a the summoned devil is given a mask to wear that tethers them to reality. There are a variety of different kinds of devils, one such character is a blue devil named Cio who later becomes a loudmouthed, spitfire companion of Allison.
The cherry on top of this interdimensional cake is that Kill Six Billion Demons is fundamentally a story about queer women. Spoiler alert: as the story goes on, Allison figures out that she isn’t just into boys, but girls too. I really don’t want to spoil anything, but the relationship that Allison forms with one of the women in her adventuring party is one of the sweetest that I have ever seen in my many years of reading nerdy stuff. While fantastical, the story grounds itself with extraordinarily fleshed out characters. While Kill Six Billion Demons begins as a story about an immature sorority girl who wants nothing more than go to home, it blossoms into a story about what it means to be a hero, with Allison growing into her role as “chosen one” in a way that feels organic and emotionally truthful.
In a subpar story, the main character is already the hero that the universe needs. They just need a few tweaks and power-ups and they’re ready to save the world. In a great story, the hero is unworthy of the destiny thrust upon them, but rather than shirk their duty, they rise to the occasion and become the hero that the universe needs. Throughout the series, Allison begins to realize that the problems of her old life were small. She was a 19 year old girl dealing with the things that 19 year old girls have to deal with: shitty jobs, emotionally immature boys, college classes, pressure to belong, and a sense of not knowing who they want to be as they grow up but feeling like should know already. Allison is (and this is not a criticism) self-involved in the beginning of the story, as most (if not all) young people are. As the story progresses, she grows into a powerful woman because she realizes that she has power already. She is not weak or immature, she simply needed a challenge to sink her teeth into. She needed a reason to grow. And that reason is to protect the world, all worlds, and the people that she loves. It is a beautiful story, one that I read in it’s near entirety in only a few days. I say near entirety because the author is still in the process of writing it. I don’t know how it ends, but I’m going to stick around and find out. I hope you do too.
So for the love of the Seven Part Name of God, please go read this webcomic. Or if paper reading is more your speed, you can buy collected editions via Image Comics. The fate of the multiverse depends on it.
Featured image credit: Tom Parkinson Morgan
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