Rating: 5/5 – That Great Feeling When I Discover an Artist I Love!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Violent Love is a comic that will be about two of the “most notorious crooks” to ever terrorize the United States. The reason I say will be is because so far in this first issue we only meet one of the two. Writer Frank Barbieri and artist Victor Santos have created an amazing first issue that draw me in with some powerful storytelling and fantastic art, art that really blew me away! This book is a crime story so fans of that genre may initially be turned away, but the story does so much right to make me care about the character that I forgot what type of genre it was supposed to fit into.
The story is framed by an older man and a young girl in 1987 discussing a “Wanted” poster hanging on a wall in his home. The “Wanted” poster depicts the two criminals we’ll meet over the course of the story, Rock Bradley and Daisy Jane. The older man’s dialogue brings us back to 1969 where we first meet Daisy. Barbieri gives us the story of who Daisy is before she becomes the person she is on those posters. It’s a tragic story that leaves us with plenty of questions when it’s over, but they are questions that I hope Barbieri takes his time on answering, not only because of the great storytelling, but also so we get as much of Santos’ art as possible. The only art of Santos that I was previously familiar with was his work on Mice Templar (Editor’s Note: I’d recommend Furious from Dark Horse, Evil Empire from BOOM!, and the Polar OGN from Dark Horse that is both written & drawn by Santos). With that being such a different genre it was tough for me to imagine his art on a book like this, but it seems as though he was made for it. It’s tough to avoid comparisons when you see art for the first time, but Santos’ art reminds me a bit of Darwyn Cooke and Cameron Stewart, just not as clean, which is perfect for this genre. Santos uses a wide variety of panel layouts to tell this story and the colors he chooses never get all that bright.
Sometimes art will make me an instant fan and want to seek out more, and Santos has done this for me with Violent Love #1. I continue to flip through these pages, just to see how brilliant his storytelling is. Inset panels, full splashes, you name it…it’s all here and laid out so clearly. I’m thrilled to get more of his art, especially paired to the great story by Barbieri. I can’t recommend this first issue enough!
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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