DC Comics presents six short stories of love. Catwoman recalls her first encounter with Batman on Valentine’s Day. Aquaman and Mera discover a letter exchange between lovers separated by the ocean. A boy who received his first kiss from Batgirl wants to become her boyfriend. Apollo seeks out Midnighter while the latter is in the middle of a dangerous operation. A recently dumped Nightwing tries to hook up with an impressive woman named Ursa. Superman and Wonder Woman contemplate the state of their relationship when an Olympian threat interrupts their date night.
For some strange reason, comic book companies nowadays want to do away with romance. The creative chiefs want to end long-established relationships and either pair super heroes up with other love interests or make them live a life of enforced loneliness. Reading Young Romance makes me believe they’re really pushing for the latter by demonstrating how terrible the former is. The writing just isn’t that good on virtually all six stories presented. With the exception of maybe Cecil Castellucci’s Aquaman tale, I didn’t feel any of them were romantic in the slightest. All of them try to cover every cliche in the book and do nothing to develop the characters or their feelings for one another. Not once did I buy Superman and Wonder Woman as being in love, the Batgirl story felt creepy to me, and the Nightwing venture was hardly worth spending eight pages on.
The art is just as uninspiring, again with the possible exception of the Aquaman story drawn by Inaki Miranda. I look at them and they seem so stiff and lifeless. There is no fluidity to the movements in the Batgirl tale or even in the tale that spotlights Apollo and Midnighter. I also cannot imagine how one can find this book to be romantic when nearly every page outside of the Aquaman story looks as dark as it does. Darkness more often than not signifies that nothing pleasant is going to happen, the opposite of how a romance should be portrayed. Is Eva de la Cruz the only one in the book who gets this, shining practically the only light present with how she colors the Aquaman tale?
I cannot possibly recommend this book to be read for any good reason. There is nothing special about it. The writing is not developed very well and the artwork is just poorly done. The lone exception in this sea of darkness is the Aquaman story, though it really doesn’t do enough to warrant the need to check it out. I would caution all male readers to not buy this book for their girlfriends as a Valentine’s Day present. They won’t be taken seriously.
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