SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Days of Hate #1 by Aleš Kot and Danijel Žeželj, on sale now.
In America's current state of political division, there is seemingly no middle ground. The country's populace has been polarized, and either blindly praise its leadership, or steadfastly oppose it. Moderate lawmakers are forced into either stark red or blue coalitions. And mere compromise has itself become a sought-after goal, rather than a means for actual solutions.
Aleš Kot and Danijel Žeželj's Days of Hate #1 from Image Comics takes that divide and widens it into chasm-like proportions. Near-future America has been split, along political lines if not outright national borders, into opposing dichotomies. Those who stand with a foot on each side of the split have made difficult choices, else they be swallowed whole by opposing ideologies. Mention is made of a civil war, but whether its in the past or is still ongoing is unclear, as is whether this war is literal or sociopolitical. What is clear, though, is America's states are clearly not united, nor are the populations that inhabit them. The divide, in fact, could not be any greater.
Two Characters, Two Americas
Kot's story is told through two characters – once united, but now opposed, serving as a microcosm of America's even deeper divide. Amanda is a key figure of an organized resistance movement against resurgent neo-Nazis in Los Angeles. Her former spouse Huian Xing, meanwhile, resides in upstate New York and demonstrates a willingness to work with the country's now-fascist government.
The basic ingredients used by Kot to establish his story all scream opposition – both geographical and ideological. Amanda opposes the so-called Alt-Right in an urban setting within a traditional deep blue state. Huian, conversely, is found in a more rural locale two thousand miles away, on the verge of selling out her former lover to an official who wants to see Amanda in one of the state's many "work camps."
Like America herself, Amanda and Huian were once a happy union, despite their political differences. Through Huian, the couple were also expecting a child – symbolic of the hopes for America's future. But when differences turn into arguments, and arguments turn into fights, and fights turn into extreme violence, then that hope is jeopardized. A physical altercation between them – at least as Huian tells it – leads to the loss of their unborn baby, as if to say there can be no hope for the future inside of a fractured union.