DAYS OF HATE #2/ Writer: Aleš Kott / Artist: Danijel Žeželj / Letterer : Aditya Bidikar / Colorist: Jordie Bellaire / Publisher: Image Comics / Feb 28, 2018
I picked up the first issue of Days of Hate last month and gave it a go. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this series after reaching the end of Chapter One, and my reaction to Chapter Two: Alternative Facts is much the same. There isn’t really very much happening right now, yet I found myself completely engrossed in these first two installments.
Even those familiar with my presence on Twitter and this site may be unaware I am highly invested in the political landscape of our country and our world. It’s very difficult to have nuanced discussions about politics today, despite its proliferation in our world and the polarization we seem to be experiencing from it. Days of Hate looks to tap directly into that, leaning heavily on those divides in our society.
Days of Hate is a slow burn, though. Chapter Two is still as heavily entrenched in its world building as Chapter One. It sets up an environment that could very well be our near future. The news reports focus on tensions between the far left and the alt-right, citing eruptions of violence of which either side blames the other and calls for retaliation.
A government agent intimidates a woman of color on a plane as he requests another seat from a flight attendant, implying the woman to be less than human. A man and a woman, one of our two main protagonists, discuss a recent operation and how they first came to meet. Her jilted former lover, whom the government has tapped to bring the rebel terrorist in, reveals to us her own mental instability, discussing suicidal thoughts with her mother and looking up to a noose in her home saying “not today”.
In short, this book is bleak in some of the best ways, but it is not for everyone. Aleš Kott has made a name for himself with politically charged work, and this dissection of our increasingly divided world seems to nail the point, though it labors a bit in doing so.
The art from Danijel Žeželj fits perfectly with the story and world the audience is slowly dragged through. It’s grimy and dirty, setting the reader somewhat at unease. This book looks like it was drawn on the wall of an internment camp, and I mean that in the best way. Colored by Jordie Bellaire, the rather muted palette further conveys that bleakness. Very little in this book is bright; and what is, like the panel of our protagonist in the shower, really sticks out because light is used so sparingly.
This book feels like it is succeeding where Divided States of Hysteria fails. It tells a politically charged tale from as centrist of a position as possible, but it puts story-telling and world-building above all else, rather than feeling like its primary goal is to assert the writer’s politics on the reader. It’s a smolder that I am anxiously watching, awaiting it to flare up into a blaze.
Verdict: 3.5 out 5 “need a shower” beers
Dexter Buschetelli thinks he is really clever, but you know better; don’t you? Do you? I dunno, I’m not your mom. Dexter can be found here on DYECB writing reviews and opinion pieces as well as on the website for his podcast, Let’s Get Drunk and Talk Comics.