Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Adam Gorham
Release Date: 13th January, 2016
WARNING: Don’t approach The Violent if you’re in a negative state of mind. Whether it’s the Monday blues or deep-rooted depression, it might tip you over the edge. Going in as Happy-As-Larry isn’t recommended either, as it’ll ruin your positive vibes and cast a shadow over the rest of your day. However, that being said, a series of this quality should not go unread either; it’s a double-edged sword, and even if it makes you want to enter your bathtub with a toaster afterwards, at least you’ll go out feeling affected by the power of storytelling. Just go in prepared, because this is grimmer than catching Donald Trump and his hairpiece defecating on your grandmother’s ashes – and it’ll make you just as angry, as the stupidity which resulted in our protagonist’s plight was all his fault. That being said, art is expression and should never be afraid to shy away from harsh realities, and The Violent certainly doesn’t hold back when it comes to the erosion of family life, portrayal of drug addiction and the impact of violence.
In this issue, we see our main character Mason searching for his missing junkie wife, whose addiction relapse will prove to be detrimental if the authorities find her first, given that their daughter was taken away. However, with events spiralling out of control and taking Mason down a rabbit hole of violence, it’s problem after problem for the bad parent with the big heart. Although, when he does find his doped up wife, telling her about how he lost their daughter won’t be helpful in saving their faltering marriage and her own downward spiral. Overall, it’s a case of being shovelled with piles of shit without a chance to breathe.
As an ardent love the dark, macabre and horrific, even I have trouble reading this series. It’s uncomfortable reading at times, but even though it is deeply unsettling, there is some thought-provoking messages to be found, especially those relating to the influence of addiction and its self-destructive traits. Amidst the extravagance that comes with revenge plots, there’s a central story that’s a reflection of humanity at its lowest and most desperate, and it packs one hell of an emotional bludgeoning as a result.
The Violent might be about as pleasant as stabbing yourself in the heart with a rusty screwdriver, but it’s a series that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, and while not being for everybody, it’s a masterpiece of its kind. Truly powerful.
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The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_.