Are you comic reader that likes to occasionally indulge in the hearts and flowers-type stories? Do you feel like no superhero stories are really geared toward that interest. It is true. There are not many, if any (other than this week's Batman: Li'l Gotham). At last, for the heartfelt reader in you, DC Comics brings back Young Romance. It actually came out a week ago, but I thought it made more sense to wait until now to talk about it. This triple-sized book contains six tales across the DCU about, well, romance.
The first story from regular Catwoman scribe, Ann Nocenti, is, essentially, "When Catwoman Met Batman" . Thankfully, there are no Megs or Billys (actually, there is, but no Crystal) to be found. Miss Selina Kyle and a cohort attempt to rob from a stockpile of merchandise earmarked for less fortunate families. The Bat shows up and delivers a beatdown. When Selina goes back later, Batman is waiting with a sermon that just doesn't sound like anything he would say. Since this story is told from Catwoman's perspective, I'll let it go as her mushier interpretation.
Then we enter the world of Aquaman and Mera. Before you groan, know that DC wunderkind Geoff Johns has made the king of the sea's book a very interesting read. That being said, this is not from Geoff Johns. Mera comes across letters between the original keeper of the lighthouse (where the royal couple now live) and a lost love. Mera becomes obsessed with the long-dead couple's star-crossed romance and to be honest, it doesn't even matter. Moving on.
We then move onto Batgirl, who has a not-so-secret admirer in Ricky, a reformed thug. Back in the Batgirl Annual, Ricky supplied our heroine with info but was found out by his criminal brother. To keep Ricky from catching a beating, Babs kisses him to allay suspicion. The young man has been dreaming of that moment and wants a repeat performance. Even after Batgirl explains all the reasons why that can't happen, she still gives him hope...and more. It's a cute little story from guest writer Ray Fawkes.
Despite my reverence for the work of Warren Ellis, I never really got into The Authority. The two characters in the next tale, Apollo and Midnighter, originated in that series and have been regulars in the New 52's Stormwatch, something else I haven't really read. However, the British duo behind this story, writer Peter Milligan and artist Simon Bisley, are top notch. After reading it, I regret not checking out Stormwatch (it's getting cancelled anyway).
Dick Grayson has gotten his heart broken repeatedly throughout his existence. Series writer Kyle Higgins doesn't give us much but manages to have two women stand Nightwing up. At this point, it's more funny than sad. Finally, Andy Diggle takes a crack at the budding relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman. Sadly, they both kind of take a backseat to Diana's cousin Eros. There is more action than anything, which is nice.
The individual stories in this book are not exactly stellar but there is enough teasing at the characters' respective books to whet the appetite. If the true intention was to rope in a new demographic, then I think it's a success.