Review: Death of Love #1
Written by: Justin Jordan
Art: Donal Delay
Colours: Omar Estevez & Filipe Sobreiro
Letters: Rachel Deering
Publisher: Image Comics
Right now, I’m deciding whether The Death of Love is insanely clever or a tad bombastic in its statement of intent. The book revolves around our protagonist, Philo Harris, and his quest for a meaningful relationship. His path is hampered by his inadequacies as a fully functioning human being and this is only scuppered further by some terrible advise from a misogynistic ‘love coach’. The book could be a great metaphor for our collective failures in the age of Tinder and Grinder, and indeed, speaks to all of us as an existential warning about the failure of communication. That said, I guess I’m more concerned about its success as a comic book. So, let’s dive in.
The tale truly begins with the cover art. The fantastic juxtaposition of cupid’s bow and a bloodied chainsaw leave us in no doubt of the writer’s intentions. And with that tongue in cheek motion towards the absurd we are introduced to Philo and his hopeful but lacklustre attempts at attracting a mate. Jordan’s (Luther Strode, Green Lantern) writing has the right amount of humour balanced with the sense of foreboding that inevitably follows slightly pathetic 30-somethings about in these kinds of stories. But the big difference for the reader is, this isn’t just an average ending at all. A mysterious stranger, Eris, brings an even more mysterious red pill and, well, a whole different slant on things emerges. The bevy of supporting characters is a real strength as they add a depth to the format and are visually quite gripping. From the horizontal flatmate to the friendzone object of his attention, each character is a bold and memorable addition to the cast.
With Delay’s art, we see an explosive almost manga style of narrative. The visual storytelling is superb with strongly animated facial expressions and body language allowing the speedy flow of the plot. The colouring too is explosive with bright hues capturing that feeling of young, singledom and endless possibilities. Some sequences have been colour coded to capture the mood across the page, like the nightclub sequences, for example, where the effects of the pills suddenly hit. It’s all rather well though out and feels fresh. Even the lettering seems stylish and modern with its casual font and sensible placements, even where frames are dialogue heavy; great job!
All-in-all, this feels like a series that’s going places. It’s fresh and funny with what promises to be an almighty slap in the jugular impending. As far as dark humour goes, this book is, at it’s outset, making a statement and I can’t help but feel it’s going to get very dark very quickly. I’ve made some space on my pull list already!
Skully’s Corner: Why buy this book? Ha, people normally think ‘love’ and they associate roses and hearts and stuffed squirrels (is that just me?) but what we actually get here is a hint of blood, mayhem and destruction, and lashings of laughs. That’s my kinda Valentines Day. 7.5 out of 10.
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Review written by Arun Sharma.
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