I often imagine what life would be life if the current state of racism in this country stayed on this current trajectory. What would the government look like? While there are still voices for the minority, imagine if they were silenced. Forced to live underground, while the government stamps out those who oppose. If you want to know that world looks like, then open of Days of Hate. A 12-chapter war-time series, that serves as a warning of what’s to come.
From Image Comics comes Days of Hate, the brainchild of writer Aleš Kot (ZERO, WILD CHILDREN) which features art from Danijel Žeželj (STARVE) designs and colors from Jordie Bellaire and Tom Mueller.
The year is 2022 and a war has turned America into a utopia for fascism and white supremacy. The world is a “police state” and guerrilla groups are fighting a neverending war against oppression. This first chapter is 32 pages long and introduces three characters you’ll have to look out for. It’s a story of love, hate, betrayal, and above all survival.
Chapter One features two quotes including one from the infamous Steve Bannon, who was seen by many as the man behind the president. The quote reads:
“That’s one of the unintended consequences of the women’s liberation movement – that, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be feminine, they would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes.”
The above more or less sets the tone of the comics and introduces you to the world of now. As the Chapter starts we meet Amanda, who seems to be a cop of sorts investigating a fire at an underground party for LGBTQ in which many-if not all, attendees were killed. Amanda and her partner explain that this is not the first attack of its kind. It’s reminiscent of the attack on Pulse nightclub and where I’m sure the writer took his inspiration. Just real enough to fear the familiarity.
Amanda becomes distracted by a hawk outside the club she’s investigating. We learn the hawk belongs to our next character, Huian Xing. Huian is a free spirit sought after by the government for her connection to Amanda, her ex-wife. From very early on you sense that their relationship is far from cordial, and the head of the Special National Police Unit for Domestic Terrorism plans to use that discourse to their advantage.
Visually the comic is a mix between Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead and Jamie Hewlett’s Tank Girl. It’s gritty and dark, but the dialogue is choppy at best. The characters seem to talk at each other rather than to, and the pages seem disjointed and fail to flow. There’s no real character introduction aside from Huian Xing and the Head Investigator Peter Freeman, determined to use her against her wife. Huian reads as bitter, and maybe that’s the point. She has every right to hate her ex-wife, but to the extent of involving a fascist government? Seems more than extreme and hard to digest.
The premise has gold written all over it, especially with today’s climate, but it fails to deliver. This is a scary world we are living in. The shootings, the bombings, the Tikki torches. Maybe the series will get better with every chapter, but the thought of reading 11 more of these, terrifies me more than David Duke in Charlottesville.