Story and Art: Luana Vecchio
English Adaptation: Edward Caio
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 28th, 2022
Domino finds herself on the defensive in Lovesick #3, as she comes under attack by The Bloodcels, a group of sadistic incels armed to the teeth and wanting nothing more than to take her out in the most agonizing and humiliating way possible. It’s another fantastic issue of a series that’s part erotic fantasy, part psychological horror and 100% disturbing in the best possible way.
There’s a palpable feeling of dread throughout Lovesick #3, a feeling that something’s coming, something even more horrifying than Domino’s performance art/vivisections in the Red Room. Domino’s my favorite character in comics these days and this issue makes me love her even more, because we get to see a side of her we haven’t before: vulnerability. There’s always been a wonderful duality with her. She’s brutal in the Red Room, almost demonic, but to the (un)fortunate men, or “piggies”, who pay to be her feature submissive and kill for the week, she’s surprisingly gentle and loving.
The issue opens with her and her new main attraction for the week, as she enjoys his attentions. It’s a fascinating scene, because Ms. Vecchio draws the scene such that we never know what’s REALLY going through the “piggies” mind. At times, as Domino lays back and describes a bit of her past to him, he looks like he’s become resentful toward her, and it makes the scene heavy with dread, because you don’t know whether he’s been planted there by The Bloodcels, or if he truly is just another man captivated by her. As he caresses and kisses her legs, the art occasionally focuses on Domino’s face, and you’re on edge, wondering if the “piggy” is going to do something horrible to her.
When violence inevitably does happen, it’s fast and vicious, and Domino suddenly finds herself the hunted instead of the hunter.
I love the beautifully dark microcosm of this series. Like the best literature and art, it transports you out of the relentless mundaneness of the world for a brief time.
Granted, the world of Lovesick is far darker. It’s joyless, grim and savage. But I love Domino’s look and style, her faceless, formidable, cartwheeling squad of femme fatales, and the hilarious depravity of her fans and submissives.
Even the incels are entertaining in a way, as Ms. Vecchio never goes overboard in showing how ridiculous they are. There’s no need to use any Three Stooges-style pratfalls and idiocy with them, because the humor flows from their hopelessly clueless view of women. Still, there’s a duality to them, they’re simultaneously comical and terrifying, not an easy feat to pull off, and they make their presence known here.
Luana Vecchio’s art on Lovesick #3 delivers beauty and horror in equal measure.
Domino is as exquisitely drawn as ever, as well as her squad, and in the quiet moments, the characters are so expressive that words are barely needed to carry the scenes.
The violent scenes are covered in drizzles of red. Like great “Pinky Violence” Japanese films of the 70’s like “Lady Snowblood” and “Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion”, the blood sprays in fountains, amplifying the kills and the horror.
Lovesick #3 keeps you on edge from beginning to end. There’s a heavy atmosphere of dread throughout, and we see a side of Domino we haven’t seen before. It’s an issue filled with brutal violence, yet punctuated with surprising moments of tenderness and beauty, and it’s easily the best book of the week.