“How am I not a nice guy?”
It really is not often that a comic can just make you sit up to attention, but when it happens you’re more than likely in for a treat. Death of Love focuses on Philo Harris: a love-inept loser who falls into the Men’s Right Activists/Pick Up Artist black hole in order to get better “luck” with women. One thing leads from another and he goes from harassing women to fighting Cupidae tooth and nail. It’s without a doubt one of the most unique comics you’ll read this year.
It’s not often that writers are willing to acknowledge a lack of depth in a protagonist, not everything needs or should be Breaking Bad. A person’s lack of depth can be just as horrifying as sympathetic reasons for monstrous actions, and that gets driven home in this first issue. MRAs are a rising tide in society and it’s easy to forget how simple it is for someone to fall into that ideology. Justin Jordan does a great job in exploring the mindset of how someone like Philo can feel unloved, but has no compulsion to actually explore how he in turn dehumanizes the people he “loves” and is easily swept in a hostile ideology and outsources the blame for his actions upon other people. Philo is unsympathetic enough in the prologue, that he ends up earning what happens to him next.
Of course comics can only go so far if the art isn’t up to par in a visual medium. In that department: Donal Delay succeeds with a style that infuses a B-Movie and exaggerated quality to the more outlandish scenes, while still keeping a down-to-earth tone in the flashback scenes. Philo’s exaggerated and passive-aggressive hostility is helps to bridge the gap between the real and the surreal in this case, as well as the work of colorists Omar Estevez and Felipe Sobeiro who get to play with a lot of red that separates the violent Cupidae scenes from the rest of the story. In that regard, if you’re looking for a gut punch of a comic, that also attempts to make a commentary on the circular punishment of mistreating people and tearing through Cupidae, then you’re going to be satisfied.
4 Chainsaws out of 5