Lovesick #4

Image Comics

Story and Art by Luana Vecchio

English Adaption by Edward Caio

The Rundown: After being invited to a cannibalistic feast, Domino is confronted by the torturer of both her past and present.

The story opens with Jack and his underage slaves following up on the previous actions in the Red Room. After a terse conversation with Domino regarding the Bloodcels, he invites her to a party with the promise of calming her nerves with a good time. Once there, she is at turns belittled for her age and addictions, and admired for her savvy and prowess. She soon leaves the location in a fit of emotion and is later confronted by Jack who eventually takes her back to his home. Finally, after a surprising turn of events, Domino shares a vision filled moment with Jack.

The Story: Grooming is the primary subject matter of the fourth chapter of this limited series. Domino’s story of empowerment and consensual murder takes a decided turn as the original instrument of her success rears his head. The previous episode briefly touched on the early exposure to certain types of media, but this issue shows how young people are afterwards preyed upon. Yet, while the depraved machinations of the rich and powerful male dominated investors portrayed affect a very specific type of medium, parallels can be seen in the entertainment industry as a whole. The subjects of exploitation and pedophilia abound, whether it is a master/servant relationship on the dark web or the bonds between a booking agency and their talent. The same type of power model holds true, taking someone young and impressionable, molding them in a certain manner, then manipulating them for financial or psychological gain.

Vecchio’s portrayal of a woman who after finding her voice, and evolving as a powerhouse in her industry, becomes inextricably linked to a hurtful past is profound. Like so many abused victims, Domino struggles with anxiety and is now experiencing enhanced mental health issues with no visible way to survive. Her longing for death makes her last desperate act in the chapter one of kindness and grace. In this moment, she is not Mother Demon, she is a mother of mercy. And when she gives in to her emotional captor, it is both heartbreaking and horrifying. I felt so many things while reading this narrative. I was angry, disturbed and horrified. But more than that I was sympathetic. Domino’s journey is one that many women take, though thankfully in a much less violent manner; That loss of control when someone manipulative from your past re-emerges, the weariness that comes from being age shamed, and the bullying that comes from less qualified men that desire your level of success. Beneath the horror and erotica, all these topics are explored. It makes Domino’s journey that much more harrowing. It makes this dizzying and fantastical series that much more important.

The Art: Warning: This issue contains nudity, disturbing violent imagery, and graphic sexual content. As with previous issues, the red and blue theme continues shifting with both locale and mood. I found the party scene especially powerful as carved statues are juxtaposed with literal human carvings. It poses the question, what defines art? I was at turns emotionally engaged with Domino’s frame of mind and disgusted by the overall happenings that surrounded her.

Lovesick #4



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