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. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Babyteeth' #1 by Donny Cates, Garry Brown, and Taylor Esposito

Donnie Cates is one busy man. As if writing two concurrent titles for Image Comics - Redneck and God Country - wasn't enough, Cates has found more time and inspiration to pen one for AfterShock Comics. That's where 'Babyteeth' #1 comes in. It's the latest page-turner from one of the hottest creators in comics.


★★★★★ (5/5)
This is Sadie Ritter's story. A first person account as told to her smartphone recording a video for her new offspring. The teenager recounts the incredible details leading to giving birth to the antichrist. That's right, the antichrist. At this point, you couldn't blame Cates for going hog wild with the supernatural fireworks from riding a wave of success and critical cache in his career. Instead, Cates shows some restraint adhering to some professional discipline and lets the story unfold quietly. 
With any pregnancy, there's enough anxiety and stress to deal with. Imagine your water breaking unexpectedly and having your older sis…

Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman are Back With The Sequel GENIUS: CARTEL

From writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman (Castle Rock, Alphas, X-Men Origins: Nightcrawler, The Authority, The Highwaymen) and rising-star artist Rosi Kampe, comes a sequel series that promises to set Destiny’s world—and ours—ablaze in GENIUS: CARTEL. The five-issue story arc is set to launch from Top Cow this August.


In GENIUS: CARTEL, 17-year-old Destiny Ajaye took on the LAPD in her South Central Siege and paid for it—not with her life, but with her freedom. Now, Destiny is sequestered in the Madrasa Institute, a government school for prodigies. But will she use her gifts to wage war at the military’s behest—or is she already planning another revolution?

GENIUS: CARTEL #1 (Diamond Code JUN170655) hits stores on Wednesday, August 16th. The final order cutoff date for retailers is Monday, July 24th.

Read the first volume, Genius Volume 1 Trade Paperback by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Afua Richardson from Amazon:


2017 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominations Announced

It's Sonny Liew's world and we're just living in it. On Tuesday, the 2017 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards nominations were announced and Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye garnered six including Best Graphic Album–New, Best U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia, Best Writer/Artist, Best Coloring, Best Lettering, and Best Publication Design. He's the leader of the pack this year for his dazzling work that covers the social history of Singapore through multiple art styles.
Right behind Liew are Saga and Kill or Be Killed with four nominations, Monstress and Mooncop with three, and publishers Fantagraphics and Image with twenty. 
Named for acclaimed comics creator Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 29th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2017 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of Comic-Con International board member Alan Campbell, reviewer/critic Rob Clough, comics retailer Jamie Newbol…

REVIEW: 'Wonder Woman ’77 Meets Bionic Woman' #4 by Andy Mangels, Judit Tondora, and Roland Pilcz

By this point, you have to love Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman as we enter issue four. Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora have brought not only a nostalgic crossover of television icons together but a great duo of heroic and kind-hearted women with great respect for each other and justice.


★★★★☆ (4/5)
The heart and joy of 'Wonder Woman '77 Meets the Bionic Woman' #4 is seeing Jamie Sommers being welcomed to Paradise Island as Wonder Woman brings her home for a visit. It's a scene fans may not have ever imagined before this comic arrived but get to relish the love and hospitality of the Amazons. The beauty of crossovers like this is making things that seemed impossible possible. Two characters from different worlds brought together to fight a malicious menace that combines the idiosyncracies of each into one fantastic fun read. 
Along with Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, we get to see a couple of fan favorites from the television series. Drusilla, played by Debra Winger …

‘Marvel’s New Warriors’: See Which Characters Join Squirrel Girl on Freeform's Comedy

Marvel's New Warriors comedy series featuring Squirrel Girl is actually happening and the Freeform network revealed the character lineup that will join her. The live-action, 30-minute series will include Microbe, Night Thrasher, Mister Immortal, Debrii and Speedball.
The series is loosely based on 2005's mini-series by Zeb Wells and Skottie Young. Created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, the New Warriors first appeared in The Mighty Thor in 1989, before launching their own title run. The New Warriors is a superhero team of teenage and young adult heroes who aren't quite ready to be Avengers.
'New Warriors' characters clockwise from the top: Zack Smith (Microbe), Dwayne Taylor (Night Thrasher), Craig Hollis (Mister Immortal), Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl), Deborah Fields (Debrii) and Robbie Baldwin (Speedball).
Marvel.com provided a character list with a description:
Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl)Superpower: "The powers of a squirrel, the powers of a girl" (is acro…