Apr 26, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 427: I ❤ Marvel: Marvel Ai #1, April 2006 ("Wuv, twue wuv" Week, Day 7)


To finish things off this week, and in keeping with my inclusion of Krypto in my kids' comics week, here's a romance comic about superheroes! You knew I couldn't go a full week without talking about them somehow, right?

As the title page says, Ai is Japanese for love. Each tale, scripted by C.B. Cebulski, is drawn by a different manga artist, and I have to say, the variety of styles is wonderful. It is both strangely off-putting and enticing to see the Wasp and Black Widow acting like lovestruck teens in a Shoujo reimagining of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision's first date. Well, Janet I can imagine, but Natasha collapsing on a bed with hearts in her eyes as she hears about the first kiss is....well, it's hard to imagine her assassinating people at a moment like that. The Medusa/Black Bolt story is just utterly gorgeous:

There is a problem with the story, though. Well, not actually the story, but the interruptions. I've come to appreciate the comics where the ads are placed at the end of the story, rather than interrupting the action. This story is very tender and quiet, about Medusa and her relationship with a man whose voice she can never hear. There's a quiet lovely scene of the two in bed, lying in one another's arms after making love, and we turn the page to find....A GIANT DOUBLE-PAGE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE SPIDER-MAN PLUG & PLAY VIDEO GAME SYSTEM!!!! And then on to the final page of the story. I don't know if there's a rule about how far into a comic ads have to run, especially when they're external ones, but whoever put this comic together was obviously not thinking about the story. And then, after this single final page, the facing page is a creepy as hell ad for the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, featuring a woman's head being held down by a hand that appears to be wearing a glove made of skin. Absolutely, of course, the sort of thing you want to see in a comic that's about romance and comedy.

The last story is a silent one, sort of, about Elektra and Black Widow fighting over who gets to be Daredevil's girl. It ends with them both seeing Matt Murdock with (I assume) Karen Page, and hurling their respective weapons at him. In this universe, Matt Murdock is very, very dead.

I've had a lot more fun reading romance comics than I thought I would. As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, it's the genre that has perhaps the lowest representation in my collection, but I think that that's something that needs to be remedied. I admit to enjoying the genre-mashing titles a little more, but even the straight ahead romance stories (and especially the ones reprinted from Standard comics in True Love) were enjoyable. Well, mostly ;P.

Tomorrow.....I have three more genre-specific week-long stacks to read. Western, War, and Erotica. Come back tomorrow to find out which one gets read next! Onward.

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