DC Comics are giving you a Valentine’s Day special called Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special #1 (Say that out loud). The 64-page anthology book will be out on February 6th for all of you out there that don’t have a date. I think that’s what this is for. The book even comes with perforated Valentine’s Day cards featuring the characters included.
Superman and Wonder Woman will obviously be the main attraction in this book. Batgirl, Catwoman, Batwoman, Aquaman and Mera, Apollo and Midnighter, and Dick Grayson (doing everyone) will also be making appearances. I like Aquaman and Mera in the pages of Aquaman, but Geoff Johns has a tendency to get carried away with giant story lines and events, which ultimately leads to the abandoning of the more subtler, character driven moments. If this special can deliver that, than this could be a lot more fun than it makes itself out to look. It could be interesting to see if Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon have any of the sexual tension they had in the old universe. The inclusion of Batwoman must also mean that she must be developing a relationship with someone. Maybe this could mean the return of Renee Montoya!
Apollo and Midnighter sounds like the most interesting feature here. For those of you who don’t know, which is probably quite a few, Apollo and Midnighter are two dudes. Brought into the DC Universe when Wildstorm folded back in 2010, the duo were two of the imprint’s lead characters. They were quite literally the Superman and Batman of their universe. It was a really great depiction of their sexuality because it was something that wasn’t really a big deal. They were awesome crime fighting superheroes and they were gay. Midnighter was a badass, but he had a weak spot for Apollo; Apollo was basically a god, but Midnighter brought him down to Earth. Their depiction in the DC Universe has been muted, as would be expected in mainstream comics. Their relationship has also been sort of downplayed, so this would be a great opportunity to show just how committed DC is to these characters.
Unlike the DC Specials of the past that mostly featured up and coming talent that you’d never see again, Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special #1 contains some pretty good talent. Writers Andy Diggle (the next writer on Action Comics), Ann Nocenti (Catwoman, Green Arrow), Cecil Castellucci, and Peter Milligan (Red Lanterns, Hellblazer), and artists Gene Ha (Top 10), Emanuela Lupacchino (Ame-Comi IV: Power Girl, Ame-Comi V: Supergirl), Phil Jimenez (The Invisibles, Fairest) and Sanford Green (Ame-Comi Girls, Ame-Comi II: Batgirl) make this more than just a try out comic.
The most disappointing news about this solicitation is that Geoff Johns’ long mentioned, yet never seen, Dex-Starr Valentine’s Day Special is still nowhere to be found. I’m baffled as to why they would even go ahead with this project, considering Johns had been pushing for a Valentine’s Day book for years just so he could include his story about the Red Lantern cat. Since Johns is pulling a lot of the strings at DC now, I wonder if he just didn’t have any time to write it or if someone thought it was too distracting. Maybe next year?
Ok, I lied. I know why they made this book. They need to add more fuel to the fire of the Superman-Wonder Woman GROUNDBREAKING love affair hype machine. Because clearly people read superhero comics for the romance. I bet that this is their attempt to attract more women to comic books. I hope that’s not what they’re trying to do. They’d be better off putting out another Wonder Woman comic or something that actually has interesting content. Women like content too!