Death of Love TP

Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Donal DeLay
Colorist: Omar Estévez
Letterer: Rachel Deering
Publisher: Image Comics

Review by Jim Allegro

Love is complicated–especially when the God of Love and his band of angry cupidae are trying to kill you. That’s Philo’s dilemma, and you can follow him and his friends as they fend off assorted deities and their minions in this week’s trade paperback release of Death of Love. The five-issue run from writer Justin Jordan (The Strange Tale of Luther Strode) joins Twisted Romance, Unnatural, and other recent efforts from Image to revive the genre of romance comics. Jordan’s and artist Donal DeLay’s effort is a witty and action-packed commentary on modern masculinity, friendship, and sexual relationships.

You know the story: Philo is obsessed with Zoe. Zoe does not feel the same. The God of Chaos appears and pretty soon we’re slaying diaper-clad cherubs with chainsaws. The absurdity of the situation facing Philo, his roommate, Bob, and the object of Philo’s obsession, Zoe, frames this satire about the men who treat women as sex objects. Philo is a “Nice Guy” who thinks that if he pursues Zoe long enough, she will have sex with him. He needs to realize that he is not the center of attention. Her feelings matter, too. But, the realization doesn’t come before the dead cherubs catch the notice of their creator, Eros. The standoff between the trio and the hipster-bro deity is a source of humorous relief from the book’s serious message.

The artwork joins the humor in providing a whimsical contrast to the chaotic and violent content. DeLay is at his most interesting in the details, such as the raised eyebrows and curled mustaches of the characters who observe Philo’s bad behavior. The colorist, Omar Estévez, fills the panels with evocative colors. He reserves red for the forces of love that pursue Philo, or for the blood that splatters from arrows, knives, and cleavers. Finally, the trade paperback contains extra character sketches from DeLay, Twitter posts from Jordan, and short essays about love from the single issues.

Verdict: Buy it!

A solid BUY if you are interested in the new wave of romance comics coming out of Image nowadays.

Jim Allegro

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