Violent Love #1 isn’t the first crime romance story we’ve seen, and it certainly won’t be the last. Over the years there’s been Bonnie and Clyde, True Romance, Natural Born Killers, and more. This book reminded me of a combination of them. It had similar themes to those films, and while it isn’t accidental, it can form an intriguing narrative. Within the first few pages of the comic, Violent Love gives us a little glimpse at the ending of the story, without giving us every detail.
The story written by Frank J Barbiere is said to be inspired by true events. It starts with a young girl named Penny visiting someone she calls Mr. Lou who appears to be her grandfather or a family friend. Mr. Lou used to be a lawman who is now older and retired living in Texas in 1987. When Penny sees the wanted ad containing the names Rock Bradley and Daisy Jane, he explains to Penny that while they were notorious crooks, they also saved his life. We then are treated to Mr. Lou telling Penny all about the dangerous couple, and how they had a very violent love.
From here the book jumps to 1969, and we get our first look at one-half of our violent couple, Daisy Jane. She is a much different person than the one we see in the wanted ad. By the end of this issue we start to see the tragedy that she goes through that sets her path to destruction in motion, or at least the end of her innocence. From waiting tables in a diner and going to college to what she is forced to witness by the end would change anyone. Even the purest of us.
Throughout the story, we also are shown Johnny Nails, who I originally thought was the man in the wanted ad and Daisy’s lover. When I went back and remembered the name Rock Bradley, I was a little happier. Johnny is a very bad man, and he just didn’t seem like a character I could sympathize with. I know that sounds odd, but there are plenty of bad villains that I enjoy, and so far in this issue, Johnny wasn’t one of them. By the end of the issue, he is a very unlikable character, and that would appear to be the point. Thankfully, it would appear that Rock is another character altogether.
I have been a fan of Victor Santos for a while, and he does a nice job with the art in this book. He has a very recognizable and distinct style, and it really stands out. The inking has thick lines, that really make the characters pop. In the violent scenes with Johnny Nails, it makes the characters blend in with the shadows for some very cool but disturbing panels.
I really want to know how Daisy and Rock fall in love, and I want to see how Daisy ends up on the wrong side of the law. I know what she went through is absolutely tragic, but I still am intrigued at what would make her turn to a life of violent crime. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and I am excited for Barbiere and Santos to answer them.
Story: Frank J Barbiere Art: Victor Santos
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review