Kill Six Billion Demons created by Tom Parkinson-Morgan a.k.a. Abbadon is probably the best web comic I’ve ever read.
I want to be honest, I rarely read web comics and I’ve only read about a handful over the last couple of years. The reason I checked out Kill Six Billion Demons was only because a friend recommended it to me.
The moment I started reading it, however, I was absolutely fell in love with it. It’s one of the best works published on the internet I’ve come upon.
In this article, I want to discuss Six Billion Demons and why I think it’s amongst the best the web comic medium offers.
Table of Contents
To rescue their kidnapped lover, our protagonist has to travel to a different world and defeat a group of powerful beings.
At first glance, this summary might appear generic, basic even. Kill Six Billion Demons, however, is anything but generic.
It takes these generic elements and mixes them up. One could say it turns things up not just a notch, but as high as possible to create one of the most original and unique works out there.
Instead of a typical male hero who’s out to save the girl, the roles are switched.
Our main character is Allison Ruth. She’s a sorority sister and barista. She’s about to have sex with her boyfriend Zaid when a mysterious figure appears in the bedroom. The figures appearance is followed by that of a group of thorned riders. They promptly behead the mysterious figure and kidnap Zaid. Unbeknownst to them, however, the figure’s still alive and bestows Allison with the Key of Kings, a magical artifact of divine power.
Because of this, Allison’s transferred to Throne, the Red City, a metropolis at the center of the multiverse.
At first she struggles to survive and get around in this unfamiliar world, which is as alien to her as it is to the reader.
Soon enough, however, Allison learns that whoever owns the Key of Kings is destined to defeat The Seven, the last of the demiurges who rule over the multiverse.
Many people want to take the key from her, but before long, Allison takes her destiny into her own hands.
Even this description, however, doesn’t do Kill Six Billion Demons justice. If you’ve not read it, I urge you to do it now. It’s an incredible experience, one that’s best by going in blind.
You can read the comic here.
The setting is probably the most interesting part of Kill Six Billion Demons. The scope and vision of this work is nothing short of insane. Frankly said, the world-building in Kill Six Billion Demons is amongst the best I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely stunning.
Kill Six Billion demon’s is a mixture of a variety of genres. It includes elements from science-fiction, fantasy, and horror, and mixes them with religion, mythology and philosophy.
The first thing one might notice are the Judeo Christian elements and imagery. What Kill Six Billion Demons centers on much more, however, is the concept of dharmic religion, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Yet, a variety of other influences come to play as well, up to an all-out martial-arts tournament akin to that often featured in manga.
Kill Six Billion Demons is set in a multiverse comprising 777.777 worlds or universes.
This multiverse is a dark place, one ripe for the taking and in which the strong prey on the weak. It’s a place that’s ruled by violence and those who rule it do so because of their talent for violence. Conquest, slavery and many other atrocities run rampant while criminals and callous kings called demiurges rule the multiverse.
After the Universal War, only seven of the demiurges are left who divided up all of its worlds and rule over them indiscriminately. The peace between them, however, is a fragile thing.
Located in the center of the multiverse is Throne, the Red City and the final resting place of the gods. It’s a gigantic metropolis with a population of roughly eight-hundred million souls, but is also home to an unknown number of dead, making its total population much, much higher.
Everything in Kill Six Billion Demons feels huge, even gigantic. This is an obvious consequence of the stories setting, the multiverse.
What truly shows us this impressive scope, however, is the art and the many page spreads showcasing its world. We often get insanely detailed eagle-eye views of the web comic’s various locations. They give the web comic a scale that’s nothing short of cosmic and extremely fitting for the story it’s trying to tell.
One of the greatest examples of this is Throne, the Red City itself. It’s a place full of gigantic towering structures and alien architecture. Its population is as weird and alien as it’s huge.
Later on, we get to see various other parts of the multiverse and each one of them is as breathtakingly large. It’s nothing short of fantastic.
If Kill Six Billion Demon’s setting is its most interesting part, the art has to be its greatest.
Some might say the art starts out rough, but I think that’s debatable. The web comic always looks gorgeous. Over time, however, the already great art improved even more and became one of the most stunning works out there.
While many other web comics opt for a simpler style, Kill Six Billion Demons does the polar opposite. It comes in stunning full color and contains some of the most detailed art I’ve ever seen.
This is especially prevalent in the many page spreads I’ve mentioned before. In them, you can often find more details than in entire, other web comics.
While Kill Six Billion Demons has its fair share of smaller panels and dialogue, it often relies on bigger, cinematic scenes that showcases its locations in all their glory.
We get pages of massive alien landscapes or bustling alien cities. Each and everyone one of these pages is populated by crowds of strange creatures.
I always stop and exploring these pages, marveling at all the details, the scope and the sheer creativity that went into creating them.
They are an amalgamation of insane beauty, originality, and uniqueness.
All of this is presented to us in stunning full-color. What’s interesting is that color isn’t merely a means to illustrate scenes. Sometimes it’s used as direction and to highlight Allison in one of the huge page spreads. Color also serves as an identification for devils. The color of their skin determines how powerful they are. Even the Seven demiurges are all defined by a specific color.
From my list of the best Lovecraft stories and the most terrifying tales by Edgar Allan Poe, you can see that I’m a big horror fan. That’s why I also want to touch on that topic. Now, Kill Six Billion Demons isn’t a horror web comic, but it’s still full of disturbing imagery.
I guess it’s a given in a world ruled by violence and which is populated by megalomaniacal sociopaths. Sometimes, however, things can get truly dark.
Body horror is a common theme. The first instance is, of course, Allison’s first arrival in Throne. Other instances appear when Motton is introduced. We witness her using her magic to transform people into trees or nothing but flower petals.
Another example of horror is the descent to the Heretic’s Court. We can see gigantic devils consuming humans and what appear to be various sorts of torture. It’s nothing short of twisted and disturbing.
And yet, the Heretics Court is far from the only place showcasing disturbing imagery. We can often see hints of how dark a world the story’s set in. This is most prevalent in the streets of the Red City or in its outer districts.
Character and Creature Design
The first thing to be said about the character design in Kill Six Billion Demons is that it’s amazing. If you read this web comic, you soon notice that there are no generic characters.
It’s not only our main cast who’ve got their unique design, however. Even side characters have complex, unique and outrageously creative designs.
Many of the creatures we see in this web comic are inspired by existing mythology or religion. We see angel, devils, goblins, dragons and many others. Yet, they are far from the typical cookie-cutter fantasy monsters we’re used to. No, their design often feels bastardized, changed and warped by the author’s creativity. The greatest examples of this are devils and angels.
Devils come in all forms, colors, and sizes. They can be as small as imps or they can be towering monstrosities. Some might remind us of other creatures or animals, while others are reminiscent of eldritch abominations.
Angels are another fantastic example. In Kill Six Billion Demons, they aren’t the beautiful white-winged creatures we’re used to. Instead, they are more akin to biblically correct angels. They are depicted as creatures comprising holy fire, too many wings and eyes were no eyes should be.
The sheer creativity of the character and creature design in Kill Six Billion Demons is most noticeable during the bigger page spreads. Whenever we get views of cities, plazas or even streets, they are populated with the strangest and most outrageous creatures imaginable. It’s a kaleidoscopic bestiary of brilliant uniqueness.
I now want to talk about a few different groups of characters specifically.
What makes Allison such an interesting protagonist is how normal she appears, in contrast to almost everyone else in Throne. This normalcy, however, makes her the alien one in this world.
She looks always stunning, however, and as the story continues she turns from a confused and lost girl to a true warrior. It’s great to watch her development, see her accepting this new world and take things into her own hands.
The supporting cast is great as well. Especially White Chain and Cio both turned out to be fantastically complex characters.
I especially came to like Cio, however. I really enjoyed her characterization, her relationship with Allison, her design, and her twisted backstory. She is the most complex character in Kill Six Billion Demons.
Yet, there are other characters I truly came to like.
There’s first Maya, a Mendicant Knight and an absolute badass swords woman. Her entire design makes her seem a benevolent and friendly older lady. That’s until we see her take action. There’s a reason her surname means Murder the Gods and Topple Their Thrones.
Another absolute favorite of mine is 6 Juggernaut Star Scours the Universe, the leader of the Holy Thorn Knights. This character has probably the most badass design in the entire web comic. 6 Juggernaut is a thorned, fallen angel who rides a motorcycle made of skeletons and who fights using a burning breaking-wheel.
The strangest and most outlandish of all characters, however, has to be Gog-Agog, the Queen of Worms and one of the seven demiurges. There’s just something about her entire design and demeanor that makers her not only interesting but also utterly weird. I can’t help but love it.
The Thieves of Yre
The Thieves of Yre are a rag-tag group of devils Allison and Cio recruit in book three to break into the Fortress of Yre.
They are devils of course and live by the ‘do what thou willt shall be the whole of the Law’ mantra. From this, we already know that things are about to get interesting. And they surely do.
What’s even more interesting about them is that Abbadon, the web comic’s author, announced a contest for fans to design the various members of the heist team.
The ones whose design I came to like the most were Cat Master, Charon, and Lucky Felicia. Yet, every member of the group has their very own unique design. You can’t help but love them.
Priests of the Count
The Priests of the Count or the Priest-Clerks of the Holy Count are the defenders of Yre. The Count refers to the act of counting the vast fortune that Mammon, one of the demiurges, had amassed.
One might think they’d be weak, but they are formidable adversaries. Their design is reminiscent of that of deranged warrior priests, but it’s as over the top as one can expect from this web comic.
When they fight, their weapon of choice is a spear tipped by a chainsaw.
Leading the Priests of the Count is Mammon’s emissary. At first, her depiction’s that of a Madonna-like figure. In battle, however, it’s revealed that her armor comprises bondage and self-castigation gear and that she’s wielding two gigantic, flaming weapons.
While the design of the Priests of the Count is already fantastic, the design of Mammon’s emissary is nothing short of outrageously great.
The Pursuers are a group of exactly one-hundred-and-eight mercenaries, bounty hunters and elite warriors who are chasing after Allison. Their motivation is simple: Pramand Nand, a slave merchant, has written out a bounty for Allison’s Key of Kings.
The most notable amongst them have to be Ingsvld, a Gease Knight who’s head is a floating book. Others include Etlin Da, a woman with a harp-shaped head, Hrotomos, a giant golden baby and Lady Brimstone, a gun witch.
They are less menace to our main characters, but more a band of comic relief who often appear when things are at their most chaotic. It’s, however, always a delight to see them appear and especially Hrotomos always serves to make a great entrance.
While quite a few of them have a name and unique design, many others get killed.
Kill Six Billion Demons is a web comic full of violence, action and fights.
Each fight in this web comic is full of details, stunning action and beautifully rendered.
We witness as Allison escapes from bounty hunters, battles a magic wielding demiurge, going on a heist to kill a dragon and even partaking in a multiversial martial arts tournament.
Things are insane and the scales are high, but battles are always dynamic, fluid and you always know what’s going on.
It doesn’t matter if Allison’s beating up a group of thugs or if she’s battling a towering God, you can always follow the action.
What I came to enjoy the most, however, were the battles, which were on a massive scale. There’s, of course, Solomon’s martial arts tournament, but the greatest so far was the Siege of Yre. It was a battle on a scale different from any other, showcasing entire armies fighting each other.
Kill Six Billion Demons is nothing short of beautiful, even when depicting brutal action and violent fights.
I only want to talk about this point briefly, but I found it necessary to share my perspective on it.
In today’s day and age, queer representation can often feel ingenuous. This is especially the case when queer characters are shoehorned into stories or movies for no other reason but to fit current social trends. It’s something that happens a lot and something I find, frankly said, annoying.
In Kill Six Billion Demons, however, it felt genuine. Allison and Cio’s relationship was well-developed, and I never felt it was forced onto the reader.
The same was true for White Chain’s character arc. She was an angel, and angels are genderless or at best ambiguous. So her arc of self-discover and her changes over time made sense and felt justified.
At no point in the web comic did I have the feeling things were forced or just there to be there. No, it felt almost entirely natural. At least, as real as a web comic populated by angels and devils and set in a twisted multiverse can be.
I think little needs to be said anymore about Kill Six Billion Demons.
It’s a work that’s as beautiful as it’s different. It comes with some of the best and most complex world-building and setting I’ve ever seen.
The character and creature design is brilliant, the art is beautiful, and the story told is nothing short of ambitious.
If you haven’t read the web comic yet, I highly urge you to read it. It’s truly one of the best in the medium and an absolute favorite of mine.
If you’d like to read the web comic in book form, however, you can also get each individual book on Amazon:
Either way, it doesn’t matter which format you pick, Kill Six Billion Demons is always absolutely worth reading.