Love is in the air as we approach Valentine’s Day, and that means DC Comics has an 80 page holiday special for us to enjoy. In this new special, DC focuses on the love of monsters in all its complexity, from Man-Bat being in love with his human persona, to Monsieur Allah’s complex relationship with the Brain. No matter what, this volume aims to show love can be found in the most surprising of places.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
It’s hard being a monster…and even harder being a monster in love. Sparks will fly and hearts will be broken when the ghouls and ghosts of the DC Universe assemble to bring you the Valentine’s Day Special that no one saw coming!
Why does this matter?
This collection has 10 stories, each populated with great creators like James Robinson, Tim Seeley, Kelley Jones, Jeff Lemire, Frazer Irving, Bryan Hitch, Paul Dini, and Kyle Higgins, so you know you’re in good hands. And that’s only a handful of creators involved in this work.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Deadman saves the day.
Whoever curated this collection deserves props not only for bringing so many good creators together, but also focusing in on the weird and strange of the DC Universe. There are interesting relationships brought up that are surprising and challenging and show how love isn’t as simple as the movies make out. From a gorilla who loves the scientist who gave him the ability to speak, to the Man-Bat monster who lives inside Kirk and is with him always. There are surprising twists and turns too, like Solomon Grundy in a Superman story that will make you get all the feels, or a tragic twist on the classic Frankenstein story.
One of the most heart wrenching, sweet, and caring stories comes from Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, with art by Javier Fernandez. In this story, Raven makes a house call to a family who is being haunted by a ghost. This story is visually quite dark and captures Raven’s personality well via captions, charting her eventual understanding of what is really going quite well. Not every story has to be romantic in a traditional sense and this story shows that and more in a great surprise ending.
There’s quite a lot of great art in this collection too. Guillem March draws a Deadman story (written by Paul Dini) and his style works well with a focus on children in elementary school and the bully who won’t let them enjoy Valentines. Kelley Jones’ style works incredibly well on the Man-Bat story (written by Kyle Higgins) as he makes the monster within Kyle all sinewy and creepy. Colors by Michelle Madsen highlight the strange in this apparition with purples and maroon blending into the creature’s skin. You can’t go wrong with Giuseppe Camuncoli, who draws the Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. story (written by Tim Seeley) with excellent action-packed featuring with lots of energy (literally and figuratively), pulling off the wounded heart of Frankenstein with aplomb.
Show him kiddo!
It can’t be perfect can it?
Every story has something of value to enjoy, but they won’t all be winners for everyone. For ten dollars that may be a risk you might not be willing to make.
Is It Good?
This is a delightful Valentine’s gift to anyone who likes an offbeat love story. You’ll get multiple of varying types here, all of which will satisfy the romantic in you in surprising and enjoyable ways.