Days of Hate #1 Review

Written By: Ales Kot

Art By: Danijel Zezelj & Jordie Bellaire

Published By: Image Comics

Let’s do something different and open with a question: What’s the difference between writing on the cusp of social issues and pandering? I don’t have an answer. It’s possible that a story can do both at the same time though, and it’s possible that that’s not important. I don’t know. I’m here reviewing a book, and I don’t know.

Days of Hate is about a near future where being liberal is equated to being radicalized. The two main characters are police officers investigating an obvious hate crime, but they give a cynical laugh and call it an accident. What world building we get portrays a United States society that looked at 2018 and went, “what if the alt right were just the right?” The character building posits a bisexual in a world that hates the LGBTQ movement. The story posits a spurned lover and some Nazis.

I fully believe this kind of story has value, that our current culture is deeply fucking flawed and deserves to be lambasted for it. I fully believe this book has a right to exist as a talking point for what’s going on now.

But goddamn, this isn’t No 1 with a Bullet, which takes aspects of our culture and adds twists and turns and fun characters to it. That story is compelling. That story doesn’t feel like it’s pandering to a political climate ripe to eat up this kind of narrative. N1WAB can portray its world without painting the villains as Nazis. There’s nuance. DoH lacks that, as of now.

Which in itself isn’t a bad thing when you’re dealing with Nazis.

Now, from a writing perspective, the book is fine. I’m getting True Detective vibes from it, at least tonally. That’s the good news; the bad news is it’s Season 2 of True Detective. Not bad, but not exactly what I want from the property either. It’s maybe too dark for its own good. It’s 20 some pages of no levity, of “there is no hope look how fucked we are,” and it’s hard to jive with that when I’m living in 2018.

Like, 2018 ain’t off to a great start, but at least Nintendo is doing cool stuff. There’s some hope to be found.

Visually, the book is pretty exceptional. I love the panel layouts, and there are a lot of pages devoid of text, with large, moody drawings that scream True Detective. Those scream Season 1. Danijel Zezelj and Jordie Bellaire are doing solid work here.

I don’t know what to give Days of Hate #1. The book hits too close to home. I’m going “yeah this is right!” and “they know someone like me will eat this up! How sheeply I am!” I imagine both of those viewpoints are wrong. Sometimes a story is just a story. This story is…well, fine so far. If we drop all the socio-political stuff, it’s fine. It’s a depressing world with depressing characters, but it’s executed well. It’s a story with a lot of promise.