Writers: Nocenti, Castellucci, Fawkes, Milligen, Higgins, Diggle
Artists: Lupacchino, Miranda, Gopez, Bisley, Greene, Rocha
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

First: compilation books are not bad. I enjoyed the hells bells out of Vertigo’s recent GHOSTS short spooktacular vignettes.

Second: $8 is fine as long as it actually is double the content and it’s good.

Third: YOUNG ROMANCE isn’t bad, just wildly wildly unfocused. One moment you think this Valentine’s day themed title is how a child perceives romance and then the next minute you are cock slapped by the inclusion of a Taiwanese lady-boy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for lady-boys since men are the ugly side of the species with our ass hair and protruding genitals. The more men that can look like women the more aesthetically pleasing the world becomes I say. ‘Well comics aren’t always for kids Optimous.” Uhhh, they are if it comes complete with Valentine’s day cards that are sized for grade school mass distribution (except to the fat and smelly kids of course). Oh and the title is called YOUNG ROMANCE. Go kid, go adult, I don’t care. But I can say without reservation I don’t want to explain the shemale phenomenon to a 10 year old. I actually had to recently and it wasn’t pretty.

As most compilations the quality is a roller coaster in this title as well, ranging from pretty decent to not decent. Again, none are bad, it’s just the “not decents” were way too short for the creatives to flush out a full story. I think part of the problem is that DC jammed in too much as you can see from the attribution at the top of this article.

All right let’s get into these and hope the world doesn’t implode before I get to six.

CATWOMAN & BATMAN: Nocenti gets women, hands down. Her pacing though is still somewhat frantic as exhibited in recent issues of CATWOMAN and this vignette. I’m also feeling zero sexual energy from the character since Winnick left. CATWOMAN was also kind of a bitch before the New 52 launched; she was robbing from the poor when she and Batman first met.

This was the tale where I really thought this thing would be for kids, since my Grandmother exudes more sex and she’s been dead since 1994.

AQUAMAN & MERA: BEST one in here. This takes place in two times as Mera uncovers a series of love letters from the 1800’s between the original lighthouse owner’s daughter and the love she lost to the sea. The panel placement was original and Miranda’s art is beautiful in both time periods. Kudos also go to coloring for the sepia in the time gone by. Action and true heart prevailed in this vignette.

BATGIRL & THAT DUDE FROM THE ANNUAL: What the sweet fuckity fuck is going on here was all I could think through the first two pages. Remember that guy Babs made out with in the annual? He decids to break into a car in hopes Babs will show up and he can get another kiss. By the end this was endearing as the two discover how alone they are and how love, even unrequited, needs no logic. Still though, in the beginning, Babs was in some poses that not only defied logic but physics as well (ever seen a Batgirl fused to a lightpole – I have).

VALENTINE CARD BREAK: There are 18 of them, each with a different character and they are adorable.

APOLLO & MIDNIGHTER: I felt no heart here, no love, but it did have ladyboys. Apollo ends up in Bangkok because he thinks it’s instructions…or some Asian city, I don’t remember or really care. Anyway he goes looking for Midnighter and starts in the gay-town. Midnighter is actually out fighting crime though, you know like we would all expect Midnighter to be doing. Apollo finds him, Midnighter’s a dick. Apollo goes back to bang a ladyboy. That’s amore bitches!

NIGHTWING & URSA MINOR: Really good action and fun, not a waft of love though.

SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN: Second best story hands down. I’m a big fan of this match up and it’s nice to see the two on a date just talking about how apart from the world they feel. Eros helps WONDER WOMAN get the date in a hot spot, but then pulls a double cross. Action, character insight and continuity consequences. Sold!

I don’t hate Valentine ’s Day, I’m a true romantic at heart and that’s really the problem with this tale. These characters don’t have time for love in their lives and this book drove that point home. Apart from the two stories where genuine affection was delivered, this will push all the lonely comic fans over the suicide edge this February 14th.