It's the near future of America. A pair investigates the burning of a gay nightclub with swastikas drawn all over the walls. Later, one of the two, named Amanda, goes undercover into an "All-American Diner."
Elsewhere, a woman is picked up by national security investigators.
Ales Kot is out to make a statement with Days of Hate. The opening page labels this first chapter as "America First" and follows it up with a quote from frigging Steve Bannon complaining about feminists and calling them "a bunch of dykes." Hot damn.
This comic will easily piss some people off, and that is very much its intent. It attacks with very pointed and deliberate observations the current state of political discourse in America. It shows the very ugly place this could all lead us.
There's not inherently a "good and bad" side to all of this either. Amanda isn't necessarily a great person, and she performs an act here that, while it could be justified, is definitely horrific. It wanders into the realm of musing on what political violence could be justified.
Saying too much about that last subject isn't recommended for a number of reasons yet though. Firstly, everything that has happened between our present and this hypothetical future hasn't been revealed, so talking at all about what's "justified" in this scenario is rough. Secondly, I'm probably not qualified to speak on the subject of "justifiable political violence." Thirdly, I don't want to be put on a watchlist. Lastly, I don't think the comic wants to make a statement on the justification of political violence — at least not yet. It's simply putting the question out there for ponderance.
I really want to be able to say something provocative or profound about Days of Hate. It definitely feels like an important comic and is indicative of the times in which we live. This, unfortunately, also clashes with the fact that I really don't want to give too much away about this excursion by Ales Kot and Danijel Zezelj.
Speaking of Zezelj, he brings the necessary gritty and grim atmosphere to match the tone and content of the narrative. This is a dark and horrid world, but it doesn't look too unlike ours. It shouldn't look that different from ours, either. Jordie Bellaire brings in some grimy color art which brings the visuals together. It's a darkly beautiful comic for sure.
Days of Hate #1 is one of the most relevant comics I've read as of late, and I'm someone who quite enjoys a topical comic. It's an only slightly twisted vision of the current state of the U.S, and it's all the more unnerving for it. This is a powerful opening salvo, and I definitely recommend it. Give it a read.