Advance Review: ‘Heart Eyes’ #1 Offers Up Young Love In A Lovecraftian Nightmare World
by Olly MacNamee
Lupe is a teenage girl fearlessly wandering the an Earth ravaged by Lovecraftian nightmares. But, why is she wandering around without a care in the world? That’s a question shared by more than just the reader in this horror/romance hybrid beautifully realised by artist Victor Ibáñez from a script by Dennis Hopeless.
In Heart Eyes #1 by writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Victor Ibáñez we very quickly learn of the Earth’s devastation at the hands, paws, claws and jaws of Lovecraftian monsters from the deep who have made swift work of destroying the world and most of its inhabitants. So it does feel off when we meet our central character, a seventeen year old girl, Lupe, walking through the remnants of society without a care in the world. Surely there are still minsters out there, right?
And I’m not the only one who can’t shake this feeling either as she is soon snatched by a similarly aged hormone-riddled boy, Rico, and taken to a hideout where his surviving family members also think is strange that she is breezily walking around so carefree. And it’s this uneasiness that will, I imagine, drag you into this central mystery while also marvelling at the stunning art provided by Ibáñez, who delivers a style that favours realism over exaggeration. Although the inclusion of the gnarly, kaiju-sized monster on display more than allow him to flex his muscles on the imagination front.
Overall, his style is more classically European in execution. It would not be out of place in a bande dessinée. But then he is from Spain, so that would explain a lot. I dare say like many such artists his art style is influenced by the European greats such as Milo Manara and Sergio Toppi.
Addison Duke adds a grey/green tone to this broken future world dulled of life and therefore of colour. It’s a rusty, rotting, decaying world that is depicted thanks to the partnership of Ibáñez and Duke. A concrete jungle that seems eerily quite for most of this first issue. Too quite, which only adds to the sense of foreboding sustained so well throughout the issue courtesy of Hopeless’s writing.
A world void of life and colour is quickly established, as are the main cast of characters we will be seeing in action. But there is also young love too that is more than hinted at in this first issue. But, more than anything, there is Lupe. A young and seemingly innocent loner who simply should not be alive, given the Lovecraftian landscape she inhabits and drifts through without so much as a look over her shoulder.
Although, by the end of the issue, Lupe’s lack of fear is at least touched upon, which will have repercussions for future issues, make no doubt about that. A strong debut issue with a niggling sense that not all is as it seems and at some point, something will eventually give. And it does. Big time!
Heart Eyes #1 will be available Wednesday 17th August from Vault Comics