written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Man, it feels like I haven't contributed to the Halftone department in quite some time, but Valentine’s day is just around the corner, so you can expect chocolate shops to make record highs and [insert cheesy romantic comedy title] starring [this one girl] and [that one guy] in a formulaic story about loving love and finding love… cue Sara Bareilles song from the trailer! But we here at LG see things through geek colored lenses, so if you want to appease the geek AND the lover in you, here are some recommended reading.
With the New 52 in full swing, one of the biggest changes they made was making Superman and Wonder Woman officially an item. While Lois Lane has been the consistent love interest throughout the majority of Superman’s history, it’s a bit jarring of a change to accept Wonder Woman as the love interest. But it does fit, one of the main changes they made to Superman’s back story in the New 52 was that he lost his parents early on, thus a pretty major part of what helped give Clark Kent a sense of humanity was lost fairly early in his life. This Superman is more brazen and while he does find a place amongst the Justice League, he feels very much alone. Enter Wonder Woman, she’s strong and comes from a godly background. In a sense, she fits with him and while they could be the most dangerous combo if ever they turned on humanity… seeing them together just looks sweet.
While initially the story first started in the pages of Justice League, DC Comics spun this power couple into their own book. While the book is still fairly new, they managed to pack a decent amount of action and story into these first couple issues. Battling with super powered villains and battling with public attention regarding their private life. It’s nice to see a damn near invincible alien and an Amazonian princess face such human like problems, well save for the giant grey monster trying to kill them. For the lover in you, this has been consistently one of my favorite new books and it’s early enough in the series to jump on without forcing too much catch up.
Scott Pilgrim series
Six volumes and originally released in black and white/manga style, the first four volumes (to date) have already been released in a special hardcover edition and printed in full color. But after several re-releases of the comic and feature film (that mind you I feel was greatly underrated) this book series feels like a love story for the PlayStation generation. The story is about aloof main character Scott Pilgrim (where the series gets its namesake). Scott plays bass in a band and is dating a high school girl; something he sees as praise worthy not creepy at all, granted the guy is pretty immature so maybe he just fit well with her. Anyway, overall his life is pretty sweet. In comes Ramona Flowers, a mysterious girl with ever changing hair. For Scott it’s like love or lust or lesbians (you’ll get it when you read it) at first sight, the catch though… Scott has to defeat her seven evil exes to even get the chance to date her.
Bryan Lee O’Malley crafted a slightly A.D.D. love story that’s weirdly sincere at it’s core. Sure Scott battled ninjas, robots, and Bollywood singers with mystical powers, but if you sift through the hipsters and magical swords, it’s a pretty good love story deep down. An absolute must read and for those who have seen the movie, reading the book may make some of the more obscure references make sense.
Two people go through life with a strangely weird sex life, time stops whenever they have an orgasm. It’s weirdly sci fi in a very modern sort of world. The girl, Suzie works at a struggling library facing foreclosure by the nearby bank… The guy, Jon is an actor who works for said bank trying to foreclose the library on a nearby library. When Suzie meets Jon at a party, flirting and conversation lead to great sex, with the two discovering that they both can somehow “stop” time when they have an orgasm. The story starts as a plan to bump uglies in the bank bathroom in an attempt to rob said of a couple thousand to going full on sci fi when they find out there are others who can navigate this altered time, Jon “charmingly” calls Cum World.
This series was discovered when I asked the guys at my local comic book shop (Arcane Comics right here in Seattle) about what books I should be reading, after the first issue I was hooked and bought the second issue, adding it to my subscription list. It’s one that has quickly become one of my favorites new books and one I look forward to every month.
Okay, this isn’t the most lovey-dovey book on the list. The story revolves around Batman facing an enemy that quickly becomes one of his most elusive foes. It’s a tale testing his trust in the people he calls allies while trying to protect one of his oldest friends. But what makes this a top choice for a Valentine comic sits within one scene that happens around the middle of the book. Batman and Catwoman share a deeply passionate kiss, but beyond that… he reveals to her that he is Bruce Wayne and tries to open up his heart to the possibility of falling in love. In an alternate DC Universe, also featured in the New 52 books Earth 2 and the Batman/Superman book, Bruce and Selina settle down and get married, even having a daughter who eventually takes up the mantle of Robin alongside her father and mother. The Bat and the Cat are my DCU OTP. I loved the Batman/Catwoman kiss so much that I had that scene tattooed on my left arm.
This isn’t the most loving book in this list, but what better way to share your love of comics with a loved one than by showing them, in my humble opinion, one of the best Batman books? Sure Bruce Wayne has had many love interests, but Selina Kyle is the one I truly feel belongs with him, this book exemplifies that with fireworks abound.
Hopefully you found some of these suggestions useful, use them to gift to your favorite comic loving valentine, or just curl up with a panel or two and enjoy the romance. Regardless of what you do, have a fun and loving Valentine's Day g33ks! I hope you get some! *nudge nudge*