Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Violent Love' #1 by Frank Barberie and Victor Santos

★★★★☆ (4/5)

Whenever the words "crime romance" are used to describe a story it's hard not to think of movies like Bonnie and Clyde and True Romance. Fairly or not, there's some preconceived notions in the minds of readers even before they turn to page one. The advantage however of a title like Violet Love #1 by Frank J. Barbiere and Victor Santos is they're able to flesh out the characters over several issues instead of one stand-alone film. They see the scope of this tale but focuses their attention first on Daisy Jane. 

The story is inspired by true events. We get our first glimpse of the notorious couple, Daisy and Rock Bradley, on a wanted poster in the home of Mr. Lou. The year is 1987 in Texas and Penny has paid Mr. Lou a visit where he recounts his younger days as a lawman and the infamous story of the dangerous lovers. It's an interesting storytelling device to have him narrate the history of Daisy Jane first. The country twang in his voice and the seemingly benign beginning of what's to become a deadly ending as alluded to at the start of the issue sets the table for an in-depth profile of the couple.

Jump to 1969, Daisy is much more innocent yet resilient and ambitious. Far from the gun-toting dame, we expect to see later on. She has a great relationship with her father despite his shady past. While supportive and encouraging, her father's past comes to the fore again devasting Daisy in the process. The tone quickly moves from hopeful to shockingly disappointing in Daisy's world. 

We're also introduced to a number of gangsters but most notably the vicious Johnny Nails. There's a dark side to this small town where bad men do bad things and Daisy unwittingly becomes a witness to some of it. It opens the door to how she meets Rock and become a notorious crime duo. So far we've yet to meet him as Barberie is slowly building his world. He could have easily thrown Rock and Daisy at us in full criminal mode but instead, chooses to humanize these soon-to-be outlaws. He shows a lot of restraint and the book benefits from it, giving us a well-rounded narrative. 

Victor Santos's art provides the perfect beats to the scenes where a bevy of emotion is needed. Cinematic and heartfelt, Santo's heavy inks and Dylan Todd's expressive designs add humanity to the turmoil around Daisy. The devilish grin from Johnny, the guilt in Daisy's father's face, the pain of betrayal in Daisy's eyes all come vividly through elevating the story with impressive artistic execution. Few stories can convey such doom and gloom in sunnier settings like pulp drama. It can be grim and dark underneath the surface and that's why 'Violent Love' strikes to the bone when things go haywire. 

Barberie and Santos have my attention. A great piece of pulp to get lost in at just the right moment. We're able to spiral out of control along with Daisy behind the safety of a colorful narrator leading the way. There's still a lot more to find out and 'Violent Love' has me hooked. 


Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…


Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

REVIEW: 'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarrubia

'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell arrives at a time when the horrors of everyday life for marginalized people is scary enough but add misogyny and xenophobia from demons and well, that's just multi-dimensional haterade. This contemporary horror story feels timely and brimming with scary thrills.

Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote Artist: Aaron Campbell, Jose Villarrubia Letterer: Jeff Powell Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: March 14, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Aisha is an American Muslim woman who just moved into a haunted apartment building with her boyfriend, his child, and his mother. It's the perfect horror movie set-up that includes a tragic incident that led to the killing of several people, the haunting aftermath of the explosion, a boyfriend's xenophobic possibly racist mother, and terrifying nightmares. Pichetshote has cooked up a potent cauldron consisting of the right horror tropes mixed with equally horr…

REVIEW: 'Hit-Girl' #1 by Mark Millar and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Hit-Girl is most certainly back and as deadly and crazy as ever. She's gone international looking to fight injustice and find a worthy sidekick. Mark Millar is in top form with help from artists Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Sunny Gho. The heart of the Kick-Ass legacy lives on as bloody and as thrilling as you remember.

Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Sunny Gho Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 21, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)
The retirement of Dave Lizewki as the original Kick-Ass has left a void in Mindy's crime-fighting life. Trying to recruit his replacement has been challenging to say the least. She's going to go it alone and taking her skills global as a cry for help leads her to Colombia.

Millar hits the floor running with a wild prison break, Mindy parting ways with an unworthy partner, and a grieving mother looking for justice. The sudden blitz back to the world of Kick-Ass is like comfort food for comic book fans. …

ADVANCE PREVIEW: Veronica Goes Vampire in New Horror Series 'Vampironica'

NEW ONGOING SERIES! When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her bloodlust?

Script: Greg and Meg Smallwood Art: Greg Smallwood, Jack Morelli  Cover: Greg Smallwood Variant Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Audrey Mok, Djibril Morrissette-Phan, Marguerite Sauvage On Sale Date: 3/14 32-page, full-color comic $3.99 U.S.
Artwork by Greg Smallwood