DC Comics and Marvel Comics have both released special Valentine’s Day love themed issues over the years. Granted, Marvel seems to have only done it once, in 1997, but still. I found it and I read it just for you this February.
Marvel and DC are known for being the light and dark of comic books. This is extremely apparent in the two special issues that I read. Marvel has one darker but still happy ending story in the bunch and DC pretty much made me cry and have to reconsider if romance is ever not also a tragedy.
Let’s start with the light. Overall this Marvel special was… not great. I can see why they only did it the one time. My problem with these specials in general is that they seem to grab extremely unknown characters to focus on, which could be a fun introduction, but in this case just makes me not care or feel confused.
This special does have one good story in it, and of course it’s my main man Daredevil’s. But let’s break it down story by story.
My Fair Spidey
Author Tom Peyer, Illustrations Mark Buckingham
This was a very strange story in which Spiderman comes home to his wife MJ to sex her up for Valentine’s day. He then tells her about his day which instead of saving people from bus crashes or something really Spiderman-y, he plays My Fair Lady to some nerd.
This guy, whoever he is, wanted the girl so Spidey threw a leather jacket on him and told him to talk like a jackass. MJ gets really mad because she fell for Peter Parker the nerd and he should’ve just let this other guy be nerdy too. They all get laid in the end.
Author John Ostrander, Illustrations Mary Mitchell
Daredevil swings in to save a young woman from getting beaten up. She gets mad, said it was her boyfriend and he shouldn’t have scared him off.
A confused DD goes home to Karen Page and explains what happens. In this timeline Karen apparently has a radio show and goes on the air with a message to the girl about leaving an abusive relationship. This gives the girl strength enough to confront the abusive boyfriend.
He pulls a gun on her and DD saves her again. Gives her Murdock’s number so she can file a restraining order.
If you need help getting out of an abusive relationship call 1-800-799-SAFE in the US.
Atom Age Amore
Author Frank Storm, Illustrations Dan Decarlo
I can’t even with this story. Just, what?
There are a bunch of hot ladies working at some dating agency who are apparently all single themselves. They see a good candidate come through the computer system and one of them decides to nab him for herself.
Turns out to be an alien monster who wants to breed with human women so the Goddess Venus intervenes. Sure.
She sets up the monster with another monster and then hooks up with her old human flame. Who was out there asking for a story about Venus and then who put together this nonsense?
For another strange attempt at Marvel feminism cheeck out Girl Comics
The Greatest Gift
Author Tom Defalco, Illustrations Dan Lewis
The Absorbing Man is buying a toy for his wife Titania who is apparently a very strong person. Some criminals at the pawn shop are threatened by The Absorbing Man and call the cops on him. Cops are also scared so chaos ensues.
Very bored Titania sees this all on the news and rushes out to help her husband. After they escape and return home The Absorbing Man is distraught to see the toy he bought has been destroyed but Titania says he got her just what she wanted, excitement.
This one was actually kind of cute.
Author Tom Defalco, Illustrations Kyle Hotz
Scott Summers Gives Jean Gray a cactus for Valentine’s. She recalls a time that they spent struggling to survive in a desert, the cactus is a metaphor for their love.
Overall rating for Marvel Valentine’s Special 2/5 hearts 💗💗
So how does DC stack up against Marvel for Valentine’s? Well, the writing in Young Monsters in Love is much much better. Story wise it’s solid. Even the art is better but we’re comparing recent style to 90s style and that’s a bit of a harsh one.
It also contains many unknown, to me, characters but some of them actually have pretty interesting stories.
However, it is not the most happy go lucky light romance you might want to read for the holiday. It’s mostly sad, tragic, heartbreaking, melancholy, morose, and basically gothic.
Author Kyle Higgins, Illustrations Kelley Jones
Kirk is the Man Bat, or at least he was. He’s been off the serum for 3 months but his wife still wants to leave him. He resists temptation to go back to being a monster regardless of whether she’ll ever forgive him or not.
It’s all about self love, people!
Pieces of Me
Author Tim Seeley, Illustrations Giuseppe Camuncoli
Frankenstein, the monster not the scientist don’t be a dick about this, and Bride of Frankenstein are on a mission together. As they fight the text in the book is that of a touching love letter. At the end we see the Bride reunited with her love interest, a woman who is not Frankenstein and Frankenstein does not give her the note. So sad!
Buried on Sunday
Author Mairghread Scott, Illustrations Bryan Hitch
Superman and Superboy help Solomon Grundy lay flowers on his wife’s grave. More sad!
The Dead Can Dance
Authors Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Illustrations Javier Fernandez
Raven helps a boy ghost who died on his prom night. She gives him his last dance and she is very touched by the experience. This is one of the happiest stories of the whole book and one of the romantic players is dead.
Be My Valentine
Author Paul Dini, Illustrations Guillem March
Deadman helps a little boy who is bullied on Valentine’s day. He possesses him and makes him the coolest kid in class as well as sets him up to get his first little girlfriend. Not sad!
Author Mark Russell, Illustrations Frazer Irving
Swamp Thing falls in love with a botanist who may actually love him back. Unfortunately, she’s put in danger by some men who are hunting him so he leaves her forever to save her and traps the men in the swamp.
The art in this one is spectacular and the story is just downright tragic.
Author Steve Orlando, Illustrations Nic Klein
Gorilla with human intelligence Mallah is attempting to break into Lexcorp, he’s holding hostages. A nice officer tries to talk him down and discovers that he needs to steal some tech for the scientist who created him and then became the love of his life. He was injured in an accident and is now just a brain in a tube. The tech would help him see.
The officer helps them get to the tech and the scientist is able to see Mallah’s face briefly before the SWAT team busts in presumably to kill them.
To me, this was the saddest one of the bunch and really hit me right in the feels. Brutal.
The Turning of Deborah Dancer
Author Alisa Kwitney, Illustrations Stephanie Hans
Two vampires give in to forbidden love. That’s about it.
To Hell and Gone
Author Phil Hester, Illustrations Mirko Colak
This one was confusing. I think it’s about a demon being tortured in hell, he’s forced to relive a love he can never have.
Author James Robinson, Ilustrations John Kalisz
A military squadron of monsters bonds over loneliness and discovers the true love of friendship.
Overall rating for Young Monsters in Love 4/5 hearts
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Happy Valentine’s Day!