By Dustin Cabeal
With any character driven story it’s always the character’s motivations that drive the story and make it worth reading. Darkest Night: Love attempts this, it does try, but in the end, I couldn’t see what the character’s motivations were and found too many of their choices to be lacking any sense of logic.
The story is a love triangle of sorts. Caleb and Carlie have recently broken up, but then tragedy strikes and Caleb’s parents are killed in a car accident. Unfortunately for him, Carlie has no intention of getting back together with him. Shortly after she meets Grant and they hit it off and start dating while Caleb is still hung up on Carlie and trying to get over the death of his parents. Caleb has a friend that worries about him and thinks that it’s for the best that he moves on from Carlie, but can’t get through to him. Insulting the woman that Caleb is still in love with seems to be his only answer.
While I won’t spoil the entire story, there are some strange decisions with the story that the characters make. Nothing seems to be driving these characters towards the ending they arrive at, it just sort of happens. The first odd choice is that Carlie brings her new boyfriend Caleb’s parents funeral and wake. Now, don’t get me wrong the funeral is one thing, but the wake? And she introduces them to each other? She’s either an idiot or a cold hearted asshole.
The next big moment I had was after Carlie and Grant share a romantic date in which Grant pops the question (at least that’s what it looks like). Yet Carlie still goes to meet Caleb at his request. I’m sorry, but no woman that just got engaged or had a bomb ass date with her boyfriend would meet their ex to talk and check in still. You cancel that shit because you don’t want the reminder of the relationship you left, you want to stay in the moment of the one you have. Also, during this scene, Grant’s character takes a huge turn. It’s completely random without any signs of it leading to his shift. Sure he seems annoyed by Caleb still bugging Carlie, but his leap in character is massive.
Then there’s Caleb. It’s his story, but he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t grow as a character; he doesn’t learn anything. He’s pretty much a dick throughout the entire story. To Carlie, though understandable at times, to his friend, to his boss, to the girl he picks up at the bar. Then at the end, he’s saint-like, even though he hasn’t grown or changed. He hasn’t even learned anything from his breakup yet. He’s just happy thinking about Carlie, and suddenly we’re supposed to root for them or something.
The only thing the characters have going for them is that they could be real. I’m sure there are people like this out in the world, idiots that are insensitive to other people’s emotions, dudes that switch personalities suddenly and depressed orphans that think by smiling and having coffee they get the woman they chased away to come back to them.
The art is okay. I didn’t love, and the character’s faces were very inconsistent. Caleb’s friend and Grant look almost the same at times, and when they share the page, I had to double check who was who so as not to be confused by the dialogue. It’s in all black and white with gray tones, but the line work is quite thick. It muddles the details at times and makes for strange shadows other times. Otherwise, it captures the mood and tone of the story.
Darkest Night: Love isn’t a bad read. It lacks some depth, but at least it wasn’t a chore to read. It's just frustrating at times due to the character’s and their decisions. You just end up wondering if people would act like this all at once. If you’re curious check it out.
Darkest Night vol. 1 – Love
Creator: Hayden Fryer
Publisher: Siberian Productions -- Website