By Ben Snyder
Days of Hate #2 picks up with Amanda Parker and her partner on the run and Parker’s ex-lover Huan Xing picking up the case on their heels. While this issue doesn’t necessarily advance the plot further, it does provide the quiet character moments that were lacking from the first issue. So far writer Aleš Kot and artist Danijel Žeželj adhere to a traditionally successful formula. Days of Hate #1 makes us care about the world and Days of Hate #2 makes us care about the characters involved.
One of the few minor issues I have with the overall story is the subtitle for this issue, and it represents an issue I may have for future issues. Kot titles this issue Alternative Facts which is an obvious dig towards our current Commander-In-Chief and after reading this issue it feels as though Kot went out of his way to give this issue this title, mainly because it doesn’t really relate to anything that happens in this chapter. Maybe if we learn that some characters are not revealing their entire truths in this issue, this title may hold more relevance in the series at the end, but as of it now it served as a distraction, making me look for fallacies in the characters speech.
It should serve as the highest of compliments that I literally have to ramble on about my issues with the title of a comic to meet my word count because I can think of little other faults with Days of Hate #2’s script. Nothing in this issue is going to wow the reader or shatter their worlds to the core, but everything it does- it nails perfectly, specifically the small character moments. We don’t get a lot of time with Mr. Freeman in this issue, but the time we do get only reimburses his smug racism and condescension, and in a manner that is not the typical world dominating villain stereotype. Freeman is a family man, he just happens to be a possible white supremacist.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this story is Huan Xing. My only assumption that I can claim with some certainty is that she will inevitably meet up with her ex-lover Amanda Parker. What will transpire in this meeting is totally up in the air and once again Kot’s depiction of a woman who is truly torn is masterful. This is a woman who had such severe trauma she went into isolation, and this issue opens with her talking to her parents convincing them she is not suicidal again. And Kot depicts her in way that is very respectful of her past experiences while also highlighting how stressed and torn she is.
Besides the title, the other major drop-off in quality regarding the story pertains to Amanda Parker. Right now Parker and her partner seem to mainly be there to detail their world and how depraved it has actually come. Parkers Partner’s story about his lover (?) is heartbreaking and real and following his beer induced monologue with him praying was very poetic. However, I am waiting to see this story evolve in a way that makes Parker and Xing’s reunion interesting not simply because of Xing. I really want to see Parker’s interpretation of their relationship and events and hopefully we get them soon. Otherwise Parker is definitely the weak point in characters. So far it seems like she really doesn’t contribute much except to move the push the road trip along.
Danijel Žeželij’s art is very well suited to Kot’s script. His line work is very raw and scratchy but it’s still based in a form of realism that makes this future plausible and likely. If anything more attention needs to be drawn towards Jordie Bellaire’s masterful colors. The opening scene with Huan Xing is textbook ambience as Bellaire’s skyline is smoke gray with lighter smoke clouds. Menacing shadows drape over everything making Žeželij’s seemingly innocent ice cream truck look ominous and there is no drop off throughout the issue.
Aleš Kot’s story and Danijel Žeželij’s art is not going to be for everyone throughout this series. But if chapter 1 didn’t scare you away, Days of Hate #2 is going to be right up your alley.
Days of Hate #2