Writer: Ales Kot / Artist: Danijel Žeželj / Image Comics
You know that terrible feeling you get when 45 opens his mouth? Days of Hate coalesces that dread into a solid narrative that embodies the cognitive dissonance and double consciousness unique to U.S. history and politics. Image Comics is working with mercury on this one.
Days of Hate capitalizes on the highly politicized atmosphere we currently find ourselves in and sets itself firmly just a few years into its future. Somehow, Days of Hate extrapolates a story from the nethers of the clusterfuck that is 2018 and molds this political moment into a dark portrait of its own legacy. This shit is the Dark Mirror of comic books, hands down.
Ales Kot and Danijel Žeželj work in concert to create a stunning ‘WTF?’ story. The intangibles that make this book stand out lie is its use of nuts and bolts ‘modern’ history. Honestly, there are plenty of dystopian narratives out there. None with the presence and wherewithal to quote fucking Steve Bannon in its prologue!
Days of Hate is made up of the types of cruel truths that made Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show rise to prominence. The type of shit that makes Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson toss and turn in their sleep. This is the book that Charlottesville wrote.
The spoiler-free version: a civil war breaks out in the United States that splits the country into two warring factions: xenophobic fascists and a guerilla people’s liberation front. We get to ride side saddle with two characters on opposing sides of the conflict who were once in love. Suffice to say, there’s a whole lot of hate on the table now. Days of it.
Žeželj’s artwork pairs well with the grim and grounded story by Kot. There are establishment pages with deep scratch art and rich, warm color palettes sharply juxtaposed with cool, sharp plot-progressing panels. The artwork personifies and reinforces the main conflict visually on so many levels.
Ales Kot and Danijel Žeželj have heard the cries of this country’s denizens. Days of Hate answers the call, envisioning one of the very likely and possible futures of these fractured United States.