For any comic book fan that’s fending off Valentine’s Day blues, maybe a good dose of humour is the best thing for it. Enter the Death of Love. Despite the morbid title, this isn’t one of those melancholic laments about a crestfallen Romeo. Instead, we’re given a story that seems familiar and relatable, which is why this comic ought to appeal to more than it actually will.
As someone with a history of loneliness and alienation, it was easy for me to empathise with the protagonist, Philo Harris. Like millions of people, Philo is a nice guy whilst simultaneously being an asshole, and, as such, has a warped idea about romantic love. He’s unable to move out of the friendzone Zoe has put him in, and like millions of insecure guys have done, Philo’s desperation makes him turn to the advice of misogynists. It turns into something reminiscent of that track from Blink 182’s 2001 album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (you know the one, if not, look it up). So now you’re wondering where exactly is all the humour I had mentioned earlier, and this is one of the major virtues of this debut issue.
As you read this story, you’ll notice how writer Justin Jordan drops some major truth bombs, usually voiced by Philo’s best friend Bob, and it might make you take a good hard look at your own situation. Surely that’s a mark of great writing, isn’t it? Bob’s knowledge of the Zoe situation affords him a perspective that is objective and honest, and I think I wouldn’t be alone in wondering how differently things would have turned out for myself had I been given this kind of a dose of tough love way back when I was growing up. But it’s not all just introspective seriousness. The comedy vibe in Death of Love is clear and present throughout, which is something readers like yours truly could really appreciate. Jordan has managed to guilefully blend the seriousness of Philo’s struggle with the feel-good humour that’s often observed in the interactions between best friends and bros. The art of Donal Delay, Omar Estevez and Felipe Sobreiro is also largely responsible for the lightness of the subject matter, without taking away the desire to see how the rest of the story unfolds.
With four issues left to go, readers will wonder what happens next for Philo and his lonely friends, and about the origins and motives of pill-pushing demon Eris. Will he eventually find love with Zoe? I have my reservations, because these kinds of stories usually need another female character to be into the protagonist for his love quest to be resolved. Let’s hope the rest of the series delivers as much cupid-killing fun as the debut did.