Rating: 4/5 – Great Creators, but a Hefty Cover Price.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Young Monsters in Love is a collection of short stories by a bunch of talented creators. Kelley Jones, Bryan Hitch, Paul Dini, Frazer Irving, Steve Orlando, and many more tell ten stories starring a wide assortment of characters from Batman and Superman (of course) to some surprising stars like I, Vampire, Etrigan the Demon, and even the Creature Commandos. As strong as some stories are, there’s more than a few that just missed the mark for me, but lets start with the good!
My favorite tale in this issue stars Swamp Thing and is written by Mark Russell and drawn by Frazer Irving. Swamp Thing has found love, but it doesn’t work out the way he planned and a tragedy occurs that makes Swamp Thing enact a dark yet clever revenge. Irving’s art is perfect for the story and the setting in Louisiana provides an eerie backdrop for Swamp Thing to fade into.
A close second is the first story of the book starring Man-Bat and Batman. Kyle Higgins and Kelley Jones team to tell a story about Kirk Langstrom struggling to free himself of the Man-Bat curse. Jones’ art stands out with its dark colors and his interpretation of Man-Bat is frightening! My only complaint with Jones’ art is I wish he would have also told a story around his cover art! I would have loved to have seen Frankenstein going up against Swamp Thing, but I’m glad we got the story we did.
Rounding out my favorites is a story titled “Be My Valentine” by Paul Dini and Guillem March. Deadman inhabits a young boy who’s being bullied at school. Instead of this being a simple revenge tale, Dini adds an extra layer to the story that makes it even more memorable.
I don’t want to spend too much time on the negatives, but some of the misses for me were the stories starring I, Vampire, Raven, and Etrigan. What you’ll have to decide though is if all these stories are worth the $10 price tag. For me, I wouldn’t pay cover price for this issue at a shop, my copy was heavily discounted because I ordered it from DCBS. Although I enjoyed more than half the tales in this book, I still don’t think the stories I loved were worth the hefty price tag. This is a common trait of anthologies, I don’t know about your experience with them but I rarely like all the stories so I have to factor the cover price against the content that I enjoyed. Because of that, I can only recommend this if you can find it for less than cover price at some point.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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