Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Young Monsters in Love #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Roses Are Dead

Written By: Kyle Higgins, Tim Seeley, Mairghread Scott, Colin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing, Paul Dini, Mark Russell, Steve Orlando, Alisa Kwitney, Phil Hester, James Robinson 
Art By: Artist: Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Tomeu Morey, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Nathan Fairbairn, Javier Fernandez, Trish Mulvihill, Guillem March, Dave McCaig, Frazer Irving, Nic Klein, Stephanie Hans, Mirko Colak, Mike Spicer, John McCrea, John Kalisz 
Letters By: Rob Leigh, Clayton Cowles, Carlos M. Mangual, Sal Cipriano, Travis Lanham, Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Clem Robins 
Cover By: Kelley Jones 
Cover Price: $9.99 
On Sale Date: February 7, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Here’s an unexpected anthology of DC monster stories that really looks right up my alley! I mean, it wasn’t totally unexpected…it was solicited way back whenever. But it’s still something I’m sure interested to read! If characters like Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Etrigan the Demon are to your liking, then absorb my review of Young Monsters in Love #1, right here!


Explain It!

“Nocturnal Animal"
Writer: Kyle Higgins 
Artist: Kelley Jones 
Colors: Michelle Madsen 
Letters: Rob Leigh 
In this one, Dr. Kirk Langstrom is hounded by a mental Man-Bat to take the inducing serum, and despite being rejected by Francine at what he’d hope would be a reconciliatory date, he decides to remain human for his own sake. The art and color really shines in this story, and some panels look like the work of Bernie Wrightson in the Creepshow comic—not accidentally, I expect.
8/10
“Pieces of Me”
Writer: Tim Seeley 
Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks: Cam Smith 
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Clayton Cowles 
Here’s a well-plotted love letter from Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. to the Bride created to be his mate, while they adventure for Father Time and slay many Satanic robots. At the story’s conclusion, Frankenstein finds out that his Lady prefers ladies, which gave me minor Chasing Amy douchechills. Still, the letter is a pretty touching look at Frankenstein’s sensitivity, and the art is terrific.
 7.5/10
“Buried on Sunday”
Writer: Mairghread Scott 
Pencils: Bryan Hitch
Inks: Andrew Currie 
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: Clayton Cowles 
Here’s a story about—guess who—Solomon Grundy, who is herded by Superman to visit his ex-wife’s grave each year in order to quell his berserker rage. Jon shows up, at first to protect his dad, but then to learn that sometimes the best way to protect society is to placate the undying zombie monster rudimentary understanding of human affection. Sort of a clunky story, and Grundy looks awful here.
6/10
“The Dead Can Dance”
Writers: Colin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing 
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colors: Trish Mulvihill 
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual 
Brooding half-demon Raven dispels a ghost that died when its high school burned down during Prom. All she has to do is dance with it. I can’t lie, I’m usually sick of Raven’s tortured teen routine, and seeing her smile was a lift. But not enough for this short story that somehow felt two or three pages too long.
4/10
“Be My Valentine”
Writer: Paul Dini 
Artist: Guillem March
Colors: Dave McCaig 
Letters: Sal Cipriano 
Deadman helps a little kid beat up his bully by jumping into his body and using his knowledge of aerobatics. Luckily, the kid must have been working out. This is a cute, well-drawn story that reads a little too much like an After School Special. But I suppose there are worse endeavors than revealing the cycle of violence that begets bullying.
6/10
“Heart-Shaped Box”
Writer: Mark Russell 
Artist: Frazer Irving
Letters: Travis Lanham 
Here’s a super visually-striking Swamp Thing story that will stay with you: after a botanist with whom he shared a relationship is murdered by a corporation seeking to kidnap Swamp Thing (not Sunderland, but Aggro), Swampy sticks the offending parties in a self-sustaining, recursive bayou maze that they will wander for the rest of their lives. Very well-written and rendered, and would not mind seeing this team spin out into a six-issue miniseries or to try an ongoing.
9/10
“Visibility”
Writer: Steve Orlando 
Artist: Nic Klein
Letters: Tom Napolitano 
Monsieur Mallah has taken some hostages at LexCorp because he wants to outfit his love, The Brain, with experimental eyeballs that he might see his gorilla lover in the furry flesh. A sweet little story that stumbles in the middle, and was perhaps a page or two longer than it needed to be. But I can’t ever get too mad at the relationship between Mallah and The Brain. 
7/10
“The Turning of Deborah Dancer”
Writer: Alisa Kwitney 
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Dave Sharpe 
Here’s an I…Vampire story that I found a little confusing, though I love how it looks. Seems Andrew’s half-vamp girlfriend Deborah takes him to task for being a brooding, reflective sad boy, and he admits his errors. They also kill a punk rock vampire along the way. This is the property I’m least familiar with in this collection, so that might have diminished my interest.
6.5/10
“To Hell and Gone”
Writer: Phil Hester 
Artist: Mirko Colak
Colors: Mike Spicer 
Letters: Tom Napolitano 
Etrigan takes on one of Hell’s armies to protect a soul, once loved by him and Jason Blood, from experiencing the torture of seeing her love, forever out of reach, for eternity. When Etrigan makes it to his chick, turns out he was the one being tortured. The Demon thinks the prank is hilarious and destroys that part of Hades while laughing his head off. I loved the unique art for this, and the story was a little labored, but enjoyable.
 7.5/10
“Dear Velcoro”
Writer: James Robinson 
Artist: John McCrea
Colors: John Kalisz 
Letters: Clem Robins 
How I wanted to love this story…one of my favorite DC Comics properties, one of my favorite art teams—and there’s nothing wrong with the art, per se. But this story is so dull and reads nothing like the Creature Commandos of the 1980s. Velcoro the Vampire and Warren the Werewolf commiserate about lost loves in between well-rendered battles against Nazi war machines and monstrosities. Could have used a little more explanation about the Creature Commandos for the uninitiated, though I suppose if you’ve plunked down ten bucks for this comic book, you’ve gone in with some idea. 
3/10

Bits and Pieces:

A mostly-fun collection of sweet and somber stories featuring your favorite DC haints and boogems. If you didn't like them before, this collection won't make you love them now, but it might be worth getting for the Swamp Thing story alone. It might be, if the issue weren't ten blinking dollars.

6.5/10
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