It’s February. The month of love, l’amour, passion, romance and sweet kisses. (Editor’s note: and whips and handcuffs and bondage rope and…)
I love Valentine’s Day. Well, actually I love the day after when all the candy goes to 50% off. Valentine’s Day itself I could take or leave, but being single, it gives me a chance to get a little tipsy in public without judgement.
Now, when one thinks of comics, there are epic love stories that span the years. Clark and Lois. Bruce and Selina. Reed and Sue. Scott and Jean and/or Emma. Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. Dick Grayson and Starfire. Dick Grayson and Helena Bertinelli. Dick Grayson and, well, pretty much everyone of a certain age in the DCU.
Of course the most true and everlasting of love stories is myself and Stephen Amell, star of the tv show ARROW, but since those details are private, I’ll get back to my point. Love abounds in all corners of the world and while Nick is covering one half of those love stories I’ll be giving you some LBGT recommendations. We here at FP have you covered for all the Valentine’s Day gifts you’ll need for the geeks in your life!!
YOUNG AVENGERS has young love with all its angst and trauma and the great ups and downs. There is a hardcover omnibus with all of the recent Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie run and the overarching storyline revolves around WICCAN making a huge magical mistake in order to make his boyfriend, HULKLING, happy. Ah, the things we stupidly do for love when we’re young. It’s a sweet story about love against a cosmic background and if you’ve never read Young Avengers, it’ll make you want more.
Paige Braddock’s JANE’S WORLD and Alison Bechdel’s ESSENTIAL DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR are must haves for, well, everyone. The absurdities of love and the pitfalls of lust are made universal. I guarantee you will find yourself identifying with more than one character in these amazing (indie) books.
Love doesn’t get more tragic than when I broke up with Christian Bale after he finished up with playing BATMAN and refused to even give me a prop batarang. He cried and cried when I left and, I assume, eventually moved on, but I digress.
Tragic love in the comics doesn’t get more beautifully rendered than when GREG RUCKA writes about RENEE MONTOYA. If you haven’t read GOTHAM CENTRAL, please do so immediately! There is no way for me to recommend this book enough. It’s everything you love about comics with amazing characterization, gripping stories, stunning art and when combined with BATWOMAN:ELEGY (which, for the record, is flawless!!) shows both sides of a love story that never fails to touch my soul. Also, I’ve gotten to meet Greg Rucka at a bunch of cons and he couldn’t be a kinder, more lovely person.
Now, NORTHSTAR’s wedding always gets props in the Marvel Universe and, don’t get me wrong, as annoying as he is, it’s actually quite nice to see a human side of Jean Paul and how he interacts with Kyle is beautiful. Plus it’s written by MARJORIE LIU and she’s awesome!
That being said, I think ALPHA FLIGHT by GREG PAK and FRED VAN LENTE might be even better. It’s the very beginning of NORTHSTAR and Kyle’s relationship and it’s more than worth the read.
STRANGERS IN PARADISE has Katchoo and Francine in the longest love story in comics on record, and, I won’t tell you if it ends well or not, but I will say that it’s worth the ride.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we all have those characters that we crush on. Julia has Donna Troy. Justin has Hobgoblin (don’t ask, we all think it’s weird) and I have Catman (Editor’s note: Yes, because that’s the height of normalcy).
Now, since the first two mini-series of the SECRET SIX are collected in one volume and here today, I’m going to recommend this. I think once you read it, you’ll understand why I have actually read Catman fan-fiction. This book has great storytelling, fantastic art and a Parademon who has a crush on a clown, so it’s safe to say you’ve never read anything like it. I want you all to pick up this book and buy it. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s an actual love story you won’t see coming. In addition to loving Greg Rucka, I freely admit to loving GAIL SIMONE as well. I can honestly say I’ve never read a book of hers that hasn’t made me laugh, made me think and made me gasp, often all at the same time. Yes, I have a little crush on Gail, too.
If straight up romance for the LGBT community isn’t your thing then let’s think outside of the box for all your Valentine needs and gifts. This week, we have Wally Wood’s TORRID ROMANCE on sale today. I have been known to spend a lot of time at cons pouring over the back issues of romance comics, so I enjoy a little camp with my romance. It doesn’t get much campier than Wally Wood.
Now, if your significant other is a fan of toys, then BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Pops are on their way and they’re adorable. Also, we have MALEFICENT (the Hot Toy, not the real one) and if you get it for your lady friend, take a hint from your new gay best friend, guys. Don’t tell your girlfriend that she reminds you of Maleficent. Big mistake. Trust me on this.
Matt D. has a Valentine’s blu-ray for your romantic evening in. It’s FRANKENHOOKER and, yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. When a man loses his lady love, well, he’ll do anything to bring her back. It’s, perhaps, not as torrid as Torrid Romance, but it certainly involves more body parts and needle and thread.
Alec will be picking up the LIVING DEAD DOLL Kiss of Death Kissing Booth for his lady love. There’s a morbid joke in there somewhere, but I’m just going to assume that his Valentine’s Day will be totally un-romantic and creepy. I’m not judging, just saying.
We have your gift needs covered here at the Planet, no matter the holiday or who you’re buying for. And remember, psychologists agree that the best way to avoid the stress of gift buying is to buy yourself a little treat at the same time.
And if you’re here on Valentine’s Day, wish our Valentine a happy birthday. Bonus points if you can guess where his name came from.