Love is a many-splendored thing, or so I’ve heard. Romantic Comedies and love songs would have you believe there your soulmate is out there somewhere waiting for your call. Reality tells you, that’s just not the case. Dating is a game, yet everyone seems to be playing by a different set of rules. Love is messy, complicated and often times downright painful. However if the endgame is utter bliss, why not take the risk? How far would you go to find true love?
Eisner nominee writer Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Green Lantern: New Guardians) explores the follies of romance with his new 5 part miniseries Death of Love. With the help of artists Donal DeLay, Omar Estévez and Rachel Deering, Death of Love brings joy to those who feel they’ve been slighted by love. Part one of the miniseries, only which is only 32 pages long, will be released by Image Comics for Valentine’s Day, 2018. How Perfect!
We’re first introduced to Philo Harris, who tells us right off the bat that his story started, because he was looking for love. On his quest to find love, his life is thrown upside-down and we see him taking a chainsaw to baby cupids. How did he get here? To know that, you have to back to the night his life was changed forever.
Philo lives with his roommate Bob, who is not entirely convinced that Philo knows what it means to be a nice guy. Therein lies the issues as to why Philo is having a hard time making it out of the friend zone. He is showering the object of his affection with gifts and favors, but Bob points out that despite doing these things, he’s made no attempts to get to know her as a person. It’s a very common dating mistake, but Philo insists that his intentions are genuine and not an attempt to sleep with her. Philo wants to be the opposite of the guys she’s used to without realizing he is exactly the same.
We then meet Milo’s crush, who seems witty and attractively sarcastic. Their rapport flows with ease, but it is like any conversation you have with a friend and not with a potential love interest. It’s the premise of any romantic comedy starring two best friends of the opposite sex. She dates jerks, while the best friend sits idly by hoping to be the one. She is off as quick as we met her and Philo is left rejected. This rejection is why Philo makes a drunken decision that ends up being more than he bargained for in the form of magic abilities in which he sees Cupidae, the creatures responsible for love.
In terms of character development, Philo comes off as a guy that everyone has encountered in the dating world. A guy who feels entitled to your affections, because he volunteers his time and effort in the hope that you will one day sleep with him. It’s a nice guy, that is actually a jerk, but thinks he’s a nice guy. Readers also learn the word negging, which is a technique men use in which they insult you, so that you in turn want to seek his approval. Yes, people actually do this. The book doesn’t attempt to make Philo a likeable person, or really all that interesting for that matter. I cared more for Bob the roommate and the mysterious stranger than any page Philo appeared on. I would however be interested to see how crazy Philo’s life gets with these newfound abilities.
The writing is clever and the characters are people that we’ve encountered, which makes it very relatable. The colors are vibrant and the characters have their very own distinct looks, which I found interesting. The conversations between the characters flowed as they should. The conversations were ones that I’ve encountered myself, so while it is a book of fantasy, it’s “realness” is what sets it apart. The author’s note at the end of the issue is definitely worth a read. I look forward to reading parts 2-5.