One of DC’s books this week is the oversized superhero filled Young Romance special, the title being a nod to one of the company’s former romance comics. The solicitation mentioned stories featuring Catwoman, Superman and Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Aquaman and Mera, Apollo and Midnighter, and Nightwing. Also noted were “free collectible”Valentine’s Day cards reusing character imagery (Catwoman’s contorted zero issue pose for example) superimposed on Valentine themed clip art. Something seemed off as I looked through the issue at home. At first the page count seemed off. I’d had the impression it was solicited as 80 pages though the original Previews copy doesn’t indicate a page count. Then I realized Phil Jimenez wasn’t listed in any story credits though his name is listed in the solicitation. Those original credits read: Andy Diggle, Ann Nocenti, Cecil Castellucci, Peter Milligan, Lauren Buekes, Gene Ha, Emanuella Lupachinno, Becky Cloonan, Phil Jimenez, and Sanford Green. Credits in the actual comic read: Andy Diggle, Ann Nocenti, Cecil Castellucci, Peter Milligan, Emanuella Lupachinno, Simon Bisley, Kyle Higgins, Sanford Green, Robson Rocha, Ray Fawkes, Julius Gopez, Inaki Miranda. There seems to have been a number of post solicitation substitutions made switching out Buekes, Ha, Cloonan, and Jimenez for Higgins, Bisley, Rocha, Fawkes, Gopez, and Miranda. Seeing Lupachinno and Miranda working on something at DC makes me happy, especially the former who turned in some quite good work on X-Factor. But my hopes that Gene Ha and Phil Jimenez respectfully would draw the Apollo and Midnighter and Wonder Woman and Superman stories are dashed.
Another quibble about the contents. It has to do with those 18 cards that I’ll assume are the same in every copy. All but one of the cards features a character. Seven of those cards have Batman, Catwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Nightwing, and Batgirl, and all of whom are in stories. The others are Swamp Thing, Robin (Damian), Flash, Cyborg, Shazam, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Animal Man, Jonah Hex, Vibe, and a generic one with the saying” The New 52! You’ve been rebooted as my Valentine”. The two gay characters are missing.I’d like to think their exclusion is an oversight, but I can’t force myself to make that conclusion when staring at a blank card.
The half dozen stories are split between two editors, Eddie Berganza and curiously, Vertigo editor and soon to be Karen Berger’s replacement Shelly Bond.
The price tag is $7.99. DC should have eliminated the cheesy cards and charged a more reasonable $4.99 for this special.