ROMANCE COMIC BOOK BLOWOUT

So, yeah, typically holiday books are dumping grounds for throwaway work aimed at the guy who has to buy everything on the racks. BUT it’s also a proving ground for young writers and artists and is, occasionally, the place old stars roll out a brilliant short they’ve wanted to tell for years. Is this late-90s Marvel Valentines Day book a hidden gem or a low-rent cash-grab? I don’t know, but for the price it’s not going to hurt to find out.

Here’s something a bit more reliable. We know what’s going to happen in this one. These old romance books dealt so squarely in archetypes and convention, that I could probably just tell you what happens based on the cover. Still, every so often these will throw you for a loop that makes sci-fi comics look grounded. I just wish this one revealed some REAL bride secrets, like the sort I’ve seen in adult film.

It would’ve been easy to go with Amazing Spider-Man annual 21 for Valentines Day. It has one of my favorite romantic covers and just makes your heart melt to look at it. But what about this? Just as important as a wedding is the proposal. No proposal, no wedding, right? Buried in this otherwise forgettable issue, we’ve got Peter’s proposal to Mary Jane. Romance. Also, look at this awesome cover. “Hiding in Pittsburgh won’t save you” is fantastically self-aware.

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