Review - Days of Hate #1 (@ImageComics)

"Remember when we all hated on 2016 online? Called it a 'trash fire?'"

It's not an understatement to say that the United States of America needs a lot of work. People are digging in deeper on their sides, prompting the opposite side to dig themselves even deeper. What it leads to is a continuing spiral of hatred and distrust, something that's on display in Days of Hate #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Aleš Kot, illustrated by Danijel Žeželj, colored by Jordie Bellaire and lettered by Aditya Bidikar.

The United States of America, 2022. The loss that ripped them apart drove one into the arms of the police state and the other towards a guerrilla war against the white supremacy. Now they meet again. This is a story of a war.

Probably the most terrifying thing about Kot's script is how closely it hews to reality in the sense that 2022 is not that far off and the state of America lends itself to that outcome. Kot is drawing from current events and not being shy about it, emphasizing the rancor currently swarming the country as the underpinning for his tale of cops and robbers in a sense. The dialogue is pretty snappy throughout the issue and Kot looks at both sides of the war, not really making either one out to be the good or the bad guy. And by the issue it's most clearly what Kot has in mind going forward, effectively setting the table for what's to come for all the characters involved. Honestly, the issue flies by in a testament to Kot's pacing, introducing the reader to the characters and establishing the stage for them to play on.

What really makes the issue feel that much more chaotic is the somewhat haphazard illustrative approach that Žeželj takes in the issue--and that's a good thing. Žeželj illustrates the book almost as if he were using charcoal, peppering the issue with plenty of heavy, thick lines that serve many purposes. It has another effect in that the characters stand out that much more and allows Žeželj to make them each look very unique despite the notion that they're essentially on two sides of a war. Žeželj arranges the panels to offer unique perspectives on the features of the characters, adding more emotion to an already emotionally-charged issue. Bellaire nails it on the colors, drawing from a palette of blacks, browns and reds that work nicely with the bold linework by Žeželj.

Days of Hate #1 is a necessary evil in a way. There's never really a point in a society where they should feel the need to craft such a work, but the topics and themes throughout are a necessity of the time. Kot's script is solid and scarily effective at how it evokes events in real-life as an inspiration. The artwork by Žeželj is a perfect complement to the story, drawing the reader into a world rife with heavy tones. Days of Hate #1 is definitely worth reading as a fairly accurate portrayal of the divisiveness in the country now and a potential harbinger of things to come.

Days of Hate #1 is available now.