Writer: Tom King
Artist: Elsa Charretier
Colourist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Designer: Tom Muller
Editor: Marla Eizik
Production Artist: Drew Gill
Publisher: Image

Joan Peterson lives a never ending chain of romance stories, cast from one to the next every time she’s on the verge of finding her happy ending; forced to overcome a new obstacle to be with the man of her dreams.

This is normally the part where I’d say something like “I don’t want to give too much away” but with the first issue of Love Everlasting I think that would be a challenge, everything I could give away is contained in the blurb for this issue.

With the exception of The Sheriff Of Babylon, I believe this is Tom King’s first creator owned book, which is interesting within itself and one of the things that piqued my interest. The celebrated writer working without the editorial oversights of the big two seems like floodgates being open to endless possibilities. However, I’m not entirely sure what to make of Love Everlasting at this point.

The premise seemed to suggest a series that might investigate the nature of romance stories, perhaps venturing into Matt Kindt territory akin to Bang! or Divinity…but this is a Tom King book, and that should’ve tipped me off to what to expect. Tom King has a tendency to deconstruct characters and investigate the way their world works, Mister Miracle or Vision for example, however after those successes it felt a little bit like that’s what was expected of him in every book. I hoped that we wouldn’t see another version of that in Love Everlasting however after reading this first issue I feel like that might be exactly what’s on the cards. Another protagonist trapped within a narrative they’re becoming too aware of. I hope that isn’t the case, as I’ve said this issue gives little away other than its initial premise, but I have some concerns.

Another major draw for Love Everlasting is Elsa Charretier’s artwork. Her style is immediately reminiscent of Darwyn Cooke, feeling classic in style and set apart from a lot of other comic artists. It suits the story well, and as Joan falls from one setting to another the artwork never fails to capture the different surroundings. Matt Hollingsworth’s colouring follows suit perfectly, subtly shifting colour palettes to fit with the changing time periods and genres.

I feel Love Everlasting  #1 almost over establishes its premise, giving away little else in the process. Because of that, the only inkling I have for where the series might be heading makes me a little concerned that this one might not be for me due to my ongoing Tom King fatigue. However, the art team is on top form and there’s no denying that this issue looks great; I’d recommend checking this out for that alone, and keep in mind that as far as first issues go, narratively it does exactly what it says on the tin.

You can check out the first issue of Love Everlasting here for free!

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