by Patrick Ehlers
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
The very first image in Days of Hate 7 is New York City at at night from a distance with the text “Seven Weeks Later.” While the apocalypse-in-motion setting for this series will sometimes lean in to ruined urban landscapes–and there is plenty of that later in the issue–for the this introductory moment, the city skyline seems relatively intact. This skyline is the exception; the sterling faux-beacon for civilization in a world where all other structures, be they physical, societal, social or psychological, have collapsed.
Writer Aleš Kot and artist Danijel Žeželj take care to show the flagging state of Pittsburgh, New York and Washington DC in lavish establishing shots. Žeželj lingers on highways and bridges and blown-out skyscrapers. This dovetails pretty obviously with Freeman’s fucked-up home life, which is now split between a wife he’s cheating on and a prisoner he appears to be hate-fucking. Freeman’s personal boundaries are so weak that he takes a call from his mistress in front of his son, and “jokingly” calls his wife thick. All of his relationships are one truth away from being completely obliterated.
But that’s sorta the trite, obvious stuff, right? Buildings crumble, marriages fizzle, blah, blah, blah. Kot has his eyes set on more fundamental building blocks of our world. Amanda and Arvid are holed up in one of those decaying buildings for the night when Amanda compares their un-adventure to Waiting for Godot. When pressed, Amanda reveals that it’s less that she thinks the specific thing they’re waiting for isn’t going to happen and more that anything they’re waiting for isn’t going to happen. It is the ruin of hope. Žeželj frequently drifts over to a nearby series of file cabinets – where someone once tried to turn chaos into order.
Now drawers are popped open, bent or just straight-up missing. Whatever someone once wanted to accomplish here is never going to be completed.
And the worst part of all this ruin is seeing it spread to Arvid’s psychology. He wakes in the night, gasping for air and with a gun in his hand. He’s having a dream. There’s no peace anywhere, not even in sleep. It’s all ruined.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?