15th Feb2018

‘Twisted Romance #1’ Review (Image Comics)

by Dan Clark

Written by Alex de Campi | Art by Katie Skelly | Published by Image Comics


Twisted Romance #1 suffers from a problem you often see with first issues. In an attempt to do too much you end up having an issue that does not do much at all. It opens up with a plotline that is often seen in classic noir and crime stories. A desperate woman seeks the help of a man who is known to get rid of problems. In this case, her husband has been overly enjoying time with another woman so she wants him gone.Enter Heartbreak Incorporated to help her with her problem.

Mackie who runs the Heartbreak Incorporated would never be confused with Humphrey Bogart or other Private Eye detectives. With his tight jeans, flashy shades, and lanky figure he looks the ideal design of the modern-day hipster. To complicate matters further his skills appear to come from a supernatural place. A man of mystery who ends up running into a piece of his past he is not ready yet to confront.

Where the problems lie is how quickly the focus of this issue shifts without ever giving a real reason to invest. Before the concept can even establish itself the story is flipped on its head and we are confronted with a flashback for a character we do not really know yet. At first it makes sense as it gives us some pieces of his past and provides context for what appears to be an important relationship. By the end though that piece is eliminated and we are left wondering what exactly was the point of all this.

I am not one who feels you need to have a character to root for in order to a story to be enjoyable. Bad people can just be as interesting, but outside Mackie’s knack for being promiscuous, there is not much else that is compelling. There are so many supernatural books with so many supernatural characters you need to do something to separate yourself from the pack. Taking something like a noir trope or classic story device and simply adding a supernatural element to it does not provoke excitement. Some books have been able to do this. Series like Kill or Be Killed or most recently Abbot by Boom. They work well enough on their own without the additional magical piece making it feel like a bonus instead of a hindrance.

Artwise it is rather lifeless. Character designs are basic and lacking personality. Despite the fact this story takes place in the seventies the aesthetic is dull and does not add much to the story. Backgrounds are too often flat or nonexistent, which makes everything feel rather small and insignificant.

As a first issue Twisted Romance does little to convince you to come back for the next installment. Never does it separate itself from comics of a similar ilk that provide the same ideas in more tighter packages.

*½  1.5/5


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