Death of Love #1
Death of Love #1 by Justin Jordan and Donal DeLay
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
A fun and interesting twist on the "love" concept with what hopes to be the same visceral violence of Luther Strode.
82 %
Love Sick
User Rating 0 Be the first one !

Love sucks, and Philo Harris is going to do something about it. After a particularly bad, drunken decision, Philo gains the ability to see the Cupidae, the creatures responsible for all the love in the world. He then declares war on love itself. With the use of a chainsaw. Writer Justin Jordan (LUTHER STROKE, THE FAMILY TRADE, SPREAD) and artist Donal DeLay (YOU ARE NOT ALONE, MY GREEK FAMILY) introduce us to a seemingly modern world filled with losers and the women who deny them in DEATH OF LOVE #1. In a classic “not all nice guys finish last” approach, Philo Harris might be EVIL DEAD’s Ash Williams in the world of love.

Death of Love #1
Courtesy of Image Comics

DEATH OF LOVE’s Premise

Unfortunately, we are only teased with the gruesome action within the first couple pages. This is extremely disappointing since, on the first page, we see the above masterpiece of our main character slicing through his questionable foes. Blood painted on the walls, intestines on a ceiling fan. The rest of the issue is all world and character building, presumably leading up to this aforementioned violence. 

Without spoiling too much, Philo drunkenly accepts Red Apple pills from a mysterious cane-wielding stranger in the hopes of finding love. As it turns out, these pills take that idea of finding ‘love’ a little too seriously as they reveal the Cupidae. Based on Cupid, the Cupidae wield bows with heart-shaped tips and retain the look of your typical cherub. Besides manipulating love, their goals are not yet revealed. With this first issue, it’s hard to say what to expect next. What leads to Philo becoming this chainsaw-wielding madman? Why are all these flying babies so aggressive? Content like this always comes from the most nonsensical reasoning. I still need a bit more plot in order to feel comfortable with what’s to come. 

THE BEAUTIFUL DEATH #1 Review: The End Comes as a Sigh

The Characters

Death of Love #1
Courtesy of Image Comics

Our main character holds a typical nice guy archetype. He’s a loser trying to “get it.” However, playing the nice guy with a girl who is already in a relationship, as his friend (Aaron Lyedecker) points out, makes him just as bad as any other asshole trying to get the girl. With this outlook, we get a great dynamic from these two characters. Lyedecker works as the necessary dose of reality for Philo. We feel bad and root for the do-gooders looking for love. But, when you start playing these cards of manipulation, you become just as bad as the “assholes” those girls keep dating. 

Besides Philo and Lyedecker, all the other characters remain minor so far. Zoe, the love interest, is painted as a quirky and cute business owner who only dates jerks. She provides a bit of humor in a few pages, but never really solidifies as a distinguished character. Leaving a lot to the imagination for upcoming issues, without a few more established personalities, it’s hard to say what to expect with these characters just yet.

Witty Dialogue

Though it could be because we just haven’t gotten to the killing, the dialogue has to be my favorite part of the content so far. It’s good ole cynical adult banter. The rationale of nice guys versus douche-bags is a prime example. Philo fails to discern love and sex to his friend through not knowing personal details of his love interest. This blurs the lines between “nice guys” and the douche-bags women date, according to Lyedecker.

Nice Guys vs “Nice Guys”: Male Toxicity Abound

We also have the “how to be an alpha male” motivational speaker. This guy steals the show with his “I used to be like you…” speech. With just a small nominal fee, you can be an alpha and “unlock the Kingdom of Poon.” With dialogue and banter like this, I’m loving the first-world cynicism that Justin Jordan creates. It’s all comical and very in-your-face about how pathetic the men are and how their main problem in life is “How do I get the girl?”

Death of Love #1
Courtesy of Image Comics

The Art in DEATH OF LOVE

The art and coloring are visceral, with high contrast between blues and reds. Reds are distinct; representing blood, pills, and the Cupidae. This makes the creatures stick out like sore thumbs amongst the darker blue shades of the background and crowds of people. Color palettes change depending on the characters and their actions, though. The initial conversations between Philo and Lyedecker are heavy with the yellows and are more vivid in color. Panels with Zoe tend to blend in more magentas and purples, signifying Philo’s love interest. The more seedy pages have a blue and yellowish hue, giving characters a sickly glow. Along with the heavier shading, these scenes feel deliberate. The bar scene, Philo’s time spent in the bathroom, all feel extra grimy when coupled with this color palette.

The Evolution of LOVE LIVE’s Animated Songs

Panels within panels are seamless for conversations, with a good emphasis on facial expression and smaller details. Minor details are never overlooked in scenes such as Philo’s depraved smile as he demands more drinks or his grief while talking to Zoe. Annoyance and anguish are painted incredibly well during extended conversations. With the more active scenes, panels simulate an action sequence for what’s barely considered action. Philo sticking his fingers down his throat to induce vomiting, or drinking and pill-popping with his fellow bar mates are all done with the most grotesque details. Unnecessary, yet comical.

Death of Love #1
Courtesy of Image Comics

Bottom Line

Overall, I’m excited to see what the future holds for Philo Harris. As much as we don’t get a real taste of the action just yet, the violence and in-your-face humor give me flashbacks of Luther Strode. Not to mention the ASH VS. EVIL DEAD appeal of a chainsaw-wielding antihero. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll see with the official release of DEATH OF LOVE #1 on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Good luck with the love game!

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!