The end of the world, despite its name, always seems to provide plenty of stories. What, with all the characters’ survival instincts being very compelling to readers. In these instances, however, romance always tends to take a backseat. Well, Heart Eyes #1 by Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibanez, Addison Duke and Simon Bowland is here to change that! It tells a love story in a unique backdrop as two people find each other in the midst of a worldwide apocalypse.
Set in a world where the Apocalypse has arrived in the form of giant monsters burrowing up from underground; Heart Eyes is about Rico, a young teenager who, along with his family, struggles to survive and hide from the horrors that ended humanity. Rico meets Lupe; a young girl wandering happily through the destroyed beauty of former San Antonio. Rico finds himself immediately smitten. Unfortunately, his family is less convinced of this fellow survivor. They ask, how did she get here? How has she survived alone for so long? And, above all, why is she smiling in the middle of this hellscape?
Given its content and the world it inhabits, Heart Eyes is an upbeat, lovable little graphic novel. Feeling more like a romcom rather than the end of the world; #1 imbues a very Love and Monsters charm to it. Hopeless creates two immensely likable and intriguing (certainly in the case of the latter) characters in both Rico and Lupe. Neither feels off-putting – although Lupe’s outlook is certainly unusual for the genre. Meanwhile, Ibanez and Duke provide some truly solid art with a style and look resembling Mitch Gerad’s work in The Activity and Sheriff of Babylon. This seems to suit the dystopian vibe really well.
Unfortunately, the story’s ending seems to be where this series’ opening instalment stumbles. This is down to the final revelation. Which – despite the initial shock which comes from its reveal – feels a little confusing. Especially when thinking over the story as a whole and realising the inconsistencies from earlier on. Also, the ending cliffhanger leaves me begging the question of where does the series go from here? I’m unable to see how the story can continue. Otherwise, #1 is a good read ruined only by Rico’s sister and her distrusting opinion. It all feels a little too big and does grate some.
Despite its few problems, Hopeless, Ibanez, Duke and Bowland have created a peculiar opening to this new series. While it remains to be seen if it has enough momentum to remain compelling until the end, Heart Eyes #1 has certainly left enough questions unanswered to bring you back in for a second fill.
Love a romcom love story set in an apocalyptic world? Have a thing for monsters and oddball love interests? Vault Comic’s Heart Eyes #1 is now available in major bookstores including Forbidden Planet! Be sure to let us know if you grab a copy and all your thoughts on our Facebook or Twitter!
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