Comic Book Review: Violent Love #6
One of Image’s finest ongoing series returns this week with “Violent Love” #6. Frank Barbiere and Victor Santos return to continue the saga of Daisy Jane and her boyfriend/partner in crime Rock Bradley. After the huge twist at the end of the first arc, “Violent Love” has become a can’t miss series. “Violent Love” #6 is another fantastic issue of this series that really begins to focus on the partnership between Daisy and Rock.
“Violent Love” #6 covers a couple of different time periods with most of its focus on 1972. In Texas, Daisy Jane and Rock Bradley are figuring out what is their next step. Daisy Jane is less worried than Rock and it’s a cause for friction between the pair. As they discuss their options, the now very brave Daisy Jane decides this would be a good time to rob a bank. In 1987 we see an older Daisy (who’s alive!) as she visits the grave of an old friend, delivering yet another excellent twist.
What’s working so well about “Violent Love” is that this story is starting to come together in terms of focus. The first arc was all about setting up Daisy’s arc. We spent a lot of time seeing her childhood, what brings her into the world of violent men and how she ends up with Rock. With the last few pages of the first arc and this issue, “Violent Love” has really become her story and that’s great. Doing this has helped make “Violent Love” a very different crime/romance than anything I’ve ever seen before. This issue in particular shows two very different sides of Daisy in the main story and the epilogue and what’s been exciting is connecting the dots over these 10+ years. I am intrigued by this expanding scope of the story and how as it’s gotten bigger, it’s gotten more personal. “Violent Love” #6 also has a very subtle sense of humor in the dialogue and is even a great place to jump into the story if you haven’t picked up the first trade paperback yet.
Victor Santos art continues to create the most amazing and varied work in the industry. Santos art in “Violent Love” #6 goes to so many different places as far as style and coloring goes. The first few pages of the issue are a stark contrast to the middle portion and then all that is a completely different thing compared to the final couple of pages. He first creates this dusty flashback that is drawn like something we can touch and it gives that dreamlike quality the sequence needs to succeed. The lines are faded at points but nothing is disjointed. There is a softness in the coloring that is such a stark contrast to the actual violence but it works really well. Santos continues to do some excellent work with the characters and their styling. I constantly find myself wishing I could own some of what Daisy wears. Through his work, there is a bit of flirty fun between she and Rock that really helps to sell their relationship. I’ve been a big fan of Santos for a couple of years now and while I see a little Darwyn Cooke in his work, there’s a big Frank Miller influence in the later pages of this issue. The panel breakdowns, the dark coloring and the heavy shadows scream Miller in all good ways and it makes for an incredibly effective final page that spins a lot of what we assumed on its head.
“Violent Love” is one of Image’s best series of the year and it deserves a lot more attention than it is getting. It has turned into a really special crime romance thriller that constantly challenges everything you assume.