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

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…