Twisted Romance #1

Writers: “Old Flames”: Alex de Campi; “Leather & Lace”: Magen Cubed; “Red Medusa”: Sarah Horrocks
Artists: “Old Flames”: Katie Skelly; “Red Medusa”: Sarah Horrocks
Publisher: Image Comics

Review by Brooke Ali

Twisted Romance is a four-issue series being released in February, the traditional month of romance. But, as Shakespeare said–the course of true love never did run smooth–Twisted Romance presents readers with dark, twisted, complicated romance stories. Each issue features a main story written by Alex de Campi (Mayday, No Mercy) but with different artists. The issues also contain a prose short story and a backup comic, each highlighting a different writer and artist.

In Twisted Romance #1 the main story is “Old Flames,” a noir-ish tale about a very particular type of private investigator. It’s 1978 New York and Heartbreak Incorporated is the only agency dedicated to tearing couples apart. Misha’s latest assignment involves the wife of a wealthy nightclub owner who wants him to breakup her husband and his mistress. This job finds him confronting someone from his dark past.

Katie Skelly’s 1970’s inspired style is an excellent fit for de Campi’s story. Not only does it match the time period, but also the energy of the nightclub setting. From the simple, subdued colours of the panels dealing with the despondent nightclub owner’s wife, to the bright, manic colours of the nightclub and Misha’s investigation of the mistress, the colouring choices create a lot of atmosphere as the story progresses.

The short story, “Leather & Lace” by Magan Cubed, is an LGBT interspecies love story. Dorian Villeneuve, a vampire, works with his human partner, Chase, to hunt monsters that step out of line. But Dorian’s unrequited love for Chase tends to complicate things. The story is a quick dip into this world of monster, hunters, and Stevie Nicks karaoke. The sweet love story acts as a palette cleanser, separating the two very different comics.

“Red Medusa on the Road to Hell,” written and drawn by Sarah Horrocks, is a complete departure from the previous two stories. There’s less of a linear narrative and more of a stylistic expression of love and death. Her art style is bold and chaotic, suiting the intense themes of the story.

Buy it. As if three stories for the price of one isn’t enough of an incentive, Twisted Romance #1 offers a great chance to discover a variety of writers and artists. A bold departure from the standard Valentine’s Day fare, each of these stories uniquely tackle the romance genre.

Twisted Romance #1 will be in stores February 7, 2018.

Brooke Ali
Brooke grew up in Nova Scotia on a steady diet of scifi, fantasy, anime, and video games. She now works as a genealogist and lives in Toronto with her husband and twin nerds-in-training. When she's not reading and writing about geek culture, she's knitting, spinning, and writing about social history.

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