Sunday, February 10, 2013

Young Romance #1

Some of the other love stories I want to see: Guy Gardner and Ice, Starfire and Dick Grayson, Midnighter and Apollo, Kate Kane and Renee Montoya, Etrigan and Madame Xanadu, Nightwing and a redhead, Bloody Mary and Andrew Bennett, Alan Scott and Sam, Barry Allen and Iris West, Batgirl and her Batbuzzer, Buddy Baker and Ellen Baker, Swamp Thing and Abby Arcane, Deadman and Dove, Arthur and Mera, Jonah Hex and Tallulah Black, Jaime Reyes and Brenda, Paco and Brenda, Brenda and Brenda, and Brenda and anybody else. The one "love" story I don't give a shit about: The Joker and Harley Quinn.

How dare you, DC?! How dare you ask me to pay $7.99 for a comic book and then have the nerve to tell me that inside are "free" collectible Valentine's Day Cards! Unless I'm interpreting this whole cover wrong? If the cards are free, does that mean I could have just ripped them out of the book in the comic book store and walked with them? Because they're certainly not free when you're charging two full dollars over the price of an annual. I spent so much on this book it's going to have to double for my breakfast.

The first page lets the reader know what love stories are going to be told and what creative team is telling them. I guess that's convenient for people not sure if they wanted to spend the money on this book or not. It's not the smartest idea for DC though because I would have opened the cover, looked at the first story, and put the fucking book right back on the fucking shelf.

What is Ann Nocenti going to tell me that I can't already find on the Wikipedia page for love?

I didn't add Batman and Catwoman to the love stories I wanted to see because Judd Winick and Guillem March took care of that back in Catwoman #1. Blew the whole fucking load on that love story. Unless this story has anal in it, what more can they show between those two? In the second story, it looks like Aquaman and Mera discover a new sex position called "The Lighthouse." And the third story looks like I'm going to get my dream match-up of Batgirl and her Batbuzzer!

I don't know who Ursa Minor is but I'm sure she's a redhead. Or a murderer.

I'm glad to see Apollo and Midnighter having their date realized by Peter Milligan and Simon Bisley. I think this is Bisley's first non-cover work he's done in The New 52. I wonder how many penises he's hidden in the artwork?

Story #1 featuring Batman and Catwoman
Think it Through

The first page of the story is simply Catwoman sitting on a roof soaking wet. I can only imagine she was singing and an old man nearby threw a shoe at her and sprayed her with a hose. Catwoman is reminiscing about the Valentine's Day that she met Batman. The second page doesn't disappoint at all. It's a pure Ann Nocenti hit straight in the veins and leaving me light-headed and slightly nauseated. Selina is drooling over some boots in a shop window when a security guard decides the store he works for has had enough business for one day.

This guard must have great instincts because Selina doesn't look like some downtown pauper to me. Perhaps the people from downtown are merely ritzy while the people uptown are super ritzy-ditzy. Or the guard just wanted to cop a feel as he shoved her away from the window.

Later, Catwoman in her outfit made from the awning she fell through and her pal Billy who must have fallen onto and killed a hobo to get his costume are busy stealing from repossessed items from other poor people. Gotham must not yet have been full of crazy criminals because Batman has time to stop this minor burglary.

Bonus points to Ann Nocenti for getting the phrase "huge spunk" into the Valentine's Day Special! Nice job! Minus points for having Batman say it! I just feel kind of icky now.

This story is so romantic already! Full of thieving and class struggles and minor physical skirmishes! It really fits the tone of the Young Romance title! Perhaps after Catwoman and Batman punch and kick each other, they'll kiss.

Oh wait! I sarcastically spoke too soon! It's beginning to get super romantic now!

"He's a total pedophile. But he's fucking hot." "He's a flaming cannibal but I'd fuck the mostly human flesh shit out of him." "What a total genocidal maniac. But he's so damn cute!" "*sigh* He's totally responsible and the perfect guy for me! Too bad he's fat and ugly!"

This is the exact same way Scott Lobdell was trying to cultivate the relationship between Wonder Girl and Superboy. Wonder Girl would tell Superboy, "You're a jerk who tried to kill me!" while thinking, "That ass! MMM DAMN!" I'm not arguing that chemistry and looks aren't important to a relationship forming. But if they're so important that you can overlook "She's trying to kill me!" or that he's currently trying to kick you in the tits, your priorities might be a slight bit askew.

After Batman stops her, he realizes he wants to bang her but he can't do it while she's a low life thief. So he tells her a really sad story about what he thinks is important to a poor family in the hopes Catwoman will become a better thief. Wait. What?

Yeah. God forbid you take away the one object that is keeping the family from truly interacting with each other! The horror!

Story #2 featuring Aquaman and Mera
The Lighthouse

By the way "The Lighthouse" begins, it seems Mera and Aquaman are just the instruments to deliver the epistolary romance.

Felicity Arkham? Does that mean this love story will end in SOMEBODY LOSING THEIR MIND?!

Damn! Her last name is Merkham. But I still suspect the story will end in somebody committing suicide! So romantic!

Felicity Merkham is the daughter of the Lighthouse Keeper. It's the usual story. A father has a daughter. Sailors find his daughter sexually attractive. Father loses his cool. Daughter falls in love with sailor. Sailor's true love is the sea. Father writes a song about it but changes his daughter's name to "Brandy" to protect her privacy.

Really? Then why isn't he on land with you?

One night, the Lighthouse went out and Felicity's love's ship went down. She spent the rest of her life and afterlife waiting for him to return home. Arthur tells Mera the last time Felicity's lover, Samuel, was seen was clinging to The Autumn Daughter's masthead. So during a storm when Arthur's lighthouse goes out, Aquaman saves the ships from crashing while Mera goes searching for sunken treasure. Also, she helps calm the seas, I guess. But that's not important to the story about love! What's important is bringing home Samuel's ghost so Felicity's ghost can get laid.

I think this last panel is supposed to make you feel happy and romantic but my mind just keeps returning to the lighthouse in the background and thinking, "BOOOOIIIING!"

Story #3 featuring Batgirl and Ricky the One-Legged Car Thief

Ricky has a major thing for Batgirl because she once kissed him in the line of duty. Now he can't get her out of his head and he keeps hoping she'll drop out of the sky so they can run off together. It's not like he knows anything about her but that doesn't fucking matter. She's sexy and she kissed him and now he can't stop fantasizing about how much more it could be. He's suffering from the true love of unrequited love of a person you don't really know. It's really the only kind of true love there is. The only way Batgirl is going to cure Ricky of his delusion is to date him and have the relationship turn sour or boring or go horribly wrong. Otherwise he's just going to imagine the best possible Batgirl he can. But Batgirl doesn't have time to teach him that lesson! Besides, she's in the same kind of love with Dick Grayson! But she does decide to throw Ricky a bone anyway.

And by the placement of that leg, I'd say the bone has been thrown.

The title of this story could be Dreamer because Ricky has been dreaming about Batgirl but I have a feeling this is just Batgirl's dream while on a date with the Batbuzzer. She has hardly ever kissed anyone and now she's the one that can't get Ricky out of her head. Well, less Ricky and more the intimate contact with a man. He's just a penis with a loser car thief attached to it.

But it's not a dream. Ricky proposes she ask him out sometime when she's not Batgirl and she tells him to "dream on" and then rushes home to write the whole encounter down in her diary.

The Valentine's Day cards are next but I think I'll save those for a separate entry. So on to the next story!

Story #4 featuring Apollo and Midnighter
Seoul Brothers

Hopefully this story will actually be romantic! Dinner. Conversation. Flowers. A walk in the park. Anal sex. Except the order of those things will probably be different and Midnighter will kill somebody somewhere in there as well.

I know it doesn't do it for everybody but I love me some Bisley style comic art.

I don't know how romantic this story is going to be with Apollo having to hunt down Midnighter halfway across the world just to go on a date. Maybe Apollo will round the next corner and find Midnigter blowing Judge Dredd. While Apollo searches the bars, Midnighter is elsewhere killing terrorists.

What kind of love story is this? It had better end in a kiss just like the others! Okay, Batman and Catwoman didn't kiss. But he did tell her that romantic story about the family that couldn't stand spending time together.

It wouldn't be a Simon Bisley drawn love story without somebody's eyes popping out of their head and that happens on the next page. Then Apollo blasts the last guy and it's either time for a kiss or time for a fight. It could go either way. Midnighter might be thankful for or resentful of Apollo's help.

Well fuck you! Can't you just let these two find some happiness in-between the horrible shit they do?

And that's that. I was actually hoping for one of the stories to be some kind of break-up. Their relationship has been rocky here in The New 52 as they try to figure out what they mean to each other. So far they're just kind of like the only two gay guys in a midwestern high school class and everyone simply expects them to get together. Eventually I hope they figure it out because even though Midnighter is a psychopathic killer, he sure is sexy!

I believe this is the only picture of Apollo and Midnighter kissing in The New 52 and it's just a fantasy picture.

Story #5 featuring Nightwing and Ursa Minor
Another Saturday Night

Nightwing finds himself breaking up with another girlfriend over the phone because Batman never taught him how to be a proper playboy. You only date women that are so busy that they often blow off dates with you as well. You only date women who aren't as interested in you as they are in your social standing and money. You only date shallow or narcissistic or stupid women because you can't risk them figuring out your secret identity (okay, Batman is screwing that one up over in The Dark Knight. I guess you can't stick to your rules all of the time). Or you only date women who go out at night fighting crime in cute little teddy bear backpacks and adorable polar bear hoodies.

Well she's not a redhead. So she must be a murderer.

Nightwing ends up spending the night on a snowy roof eating Chinese take-out with Ursa Minor after they help save some guy named Mr. Reese. She calls herself a protection specialist. I call her super cute.

The only problem? If she's Ursa Minor, who the fuck is Ursa Major and how hard is he going to hit Dick in the face?

The next night, Dick Grayson sits all by himself with his pizza getting cold. The end! Except you know she'll be back soon. Is she brand new to this comic because I've never seen her before.

Story #6 featuring Superman and Wonder Woman
Truth or Dare

The story begins with Clark and Diana having a romantic dinner. Clark mentions how Diana has never said much about her family and that he doesn't feel like he knows that much about her. You want to know about her family? Pick up a book on mythology, lazy. I guess they're going to have to get to know each other with a game of Truth or Dare, right?

Or maybe they'll just end up fighting a couple of harpies.

They're the Mantics from Rome! Get it?! FROM ROME!

The Harpies turn out to be Sirens. They since a little song about Superman going back to Krypton (ugh!) and Wonder Woman getting caught up in the fight against the First Born. You know, things going on in their own titles. And then Eros shows up with his Golden Guns and demands Wonder Woman's Lasso and Bracers be given him for the coming war. Some things go wrong and some things go right and Superman and Wonder Woman go on with their relationship that, according to Booster Gold from the future (no, the other Booster Gold from the other future!), will end the world! Or something. I forget.

Young Romance #1 Rating: Not a lot of fucking romance in this story, was there? Superman backhands Wonder Woman. Batman lectures Catwoman. Midnighter and Apollo break up. Nightwing gets stood up. Some old lovers die and are reunited after death when it doesn't fucking matter anymore. And Batgirl teases a one legged man. I suppose if you wanted romance, this is a bad rating. But if you hate romance, this might be the comic book for you!

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