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Falling in Love on the Path to Hell #1
Image Comics

Comic Books

‘Falling in Love on the Path to Hell’ #1 is everything a debut issue can hope to be

Till death do us part… or is death just the start?

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. However, if you see the fantastic cover of Falling in Love on the Path to Hell by Garry Brown and think, “Wow, that looks rad as hell”, judge away because your gut is one hundred percent correct. Falling in Love on the Path to Hell is a stunning oversized first issue, which introduces readers to interesting characters in a world full of potential.

Story and art by Gerry Duggan and Garry Brown, Falling in Love on the Path to Hell #1 is the story of endings becoming beginnings. While the issue focuses on the deaths of two warriors from distant lands (1876 Japan and California), their ends are only the story’s beginning.

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Duggan and Brown give readers a brief snippet of who these warriors were in their lives before the afterlife. While meeting them is short-lived, the writers create a clear image of who the leads are and they set the stage for an exciting future. It teases readers with threads to follow while also giving them an idea of where their relationship might go.

While it might not have been the focus of issue one, issue #1 tells its audience that they are seeing a relationship unfold. Two lovers bound together on an inescapable path. What does love mean for them? That is what we are about to find out.

To take a brief step back and for full clarity, I love romance. I love love. I love when a book forgoes the will-they-won’t-they trope. It can work, obviously, and often it works great. But it can also be used as an easy out for dramatic tension. It can be a crutch to keep readers invested in the hopes of seeing two characters finally come together after countless close calls. Because of that seeing a couple get together feels like the end of the story.

But there is something so beautiful in the exploration of relationships after the first kiss—the ups and downs, struggles and triumphs of seeing two people work together in partnership for love. The tension isn’t about finally seeing the kiss that brings them together but rather watching them stay together and overcome what lies ahead. 

Falling in Love on the Path to Hell #1

Image Comics

This book isn’t about whether our cowboy or samurai will fall in love. It’s about how they will fall in love and the journey they will take together. It’s about how they will walk together. This story can (and I’m guessing will) have twists and turns, and I doubt it’ll end how I expect. But I am excited to see their love grow rather than constantly wondering if they’ll ever get together. I am excited to see their relationship grow and change and journey on the path with them.

Plus, when each panel looks as gorgeous as it does in issue #1, I’d be reading it regardless. Brown creates some truly cinematic panels, bringing emotion and mood to each one. Brown brings tension to the page, especially in the Japan scene. Nothing feels overlooked, and every detail feels important. 

Added to that is the talents of Chris O’Halloran on colors, which creates moody, vibrant, cinematic images. Both snippets of our heroes feel distinct in their color and tone creating a real sense of things changing, especially when met with the blues on the corpse tide beach. Joining him is letterer Joe Sabino, who blends the sounds of the words flawlessly into the action to make an incredible reading experience for the readers.

It’s safe to say I enjoyed Falling in Love on the Path to Hell. I may be a tad biased due to my affection for stories about romance and relationships, but I truly believe this book is doing something outside the norm. It wears its heart on its sleeve, letting readers know this book is unabashedly a story of love and lovers.

The oversized, forty-page first issue of Falling in Love on the Path to Hell is everything you could want from a debut issue. Compelling characters, beautiful art and a unique voice come together to make an issue you don’t want to miss.

Falling in Love on the Path to Hell #1
‘Falling in Love on the Path to Hell’ #1 is everything a debut issue can hope to be
Falling in Love on the Path to Hell #1
Falling in Love on the Path to Hell #1 is everything a debut issue can hope to be. Compelling leads, a fully realized world and beautiful to look.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.7
A compelling setup for our two leads
The team sets up an exciting world to explore
Stunning artwork, dynamic colors and great lettering
The book side steps the will-they-won't-they trope by making it clear this is the story of two lovers
10
Fantastic
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