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‘Mysteries of Love in Space 80-Page Giant #1’ (review)

Written by Various
Illustrated by Various
Published by DC Comics

Love. It’s exciting. It’s new. Come aboard the latest 80-Page Giant from DC Comics, we’re expecting you!

From an untold tale of The Female Furies to a Bizarro one-night stand, Mysteries of Love In Space 80-Page Giant #1 just might warm your heart for this Valentine’s Day. Why do we need to schlep over to Walmart for the traditional 20 extra pages of DC Comics 100-Page Giant action? I’m beginning to think I’ll never know the answer.

The ‘Giant’ is one of my favorite formats, with short stories testing the mettle of creators and giving newer creators a chance in the spotlight. The latest has a Valentine’s theme to hit the shelves for February and references the legacy ’50s Mystery in Space title that surely George McFly had stuffed under his mattress when visited by Darth Vader.

This 2019 anthology kicks it up a notch by inflicting the most horrible pain imaginable on to our collected heroes, the impending dread of a Hallmark Holiday of Heartbreak!

Broken up into eight 10 page stories with creators as varied as Jesus Marino, Gardner Fox (in the form of an Adam Strange reprint), Saladin Ahmed (Marvel had better watch out!), Kyle Higgins, Jordie Bellaire and writer for the upcoming Female Furies book, Cecil Castellucci, among others this compilation makes the steep price point of $9.99 worth it if you are willing to splurge on such an extravagance. It seems pricey but hey, the 80-Page Giant itself is one that should be honored and cherished, it is not as if you have to buy this every month.

Moving on, Kyle Higgins gives us a touching Kilowog story that will make you feel for the Green Lantern drill sergeant who chooses duty over romance, but not without some reflection.

James Tynion IV and Merino’s lead off story takes some expected turns, but not until after your stomach turns at seeing Granny Goodness’s eating habits? Can she really eat a whole leg? Not a chicken leg, like a LEG leg. Eww. This could be my favorite of the stories in the book, and clues on the cover won’t even prepare you for the last page reveal.

Me Am Also Hate the Bizarro story where we are introduced to a love interest for the backwards Superman, Grotesqua!

Kendra is left alone to watch over the Hall of Justice because in this reality even Batman has a date for Valentine’s Day, but her complicated relationship with Hawkman leaves her watching some movies and doing inventory. When a threat looms, Hawkgirl teams up with Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and Stargirl for an unforgettable evening of capturing an overgrown octopus space creature and presumably some rosé.

Who doesn’t like a completely deep dive C-lister to show up when given the occasion to celebrate a legacy title? Because exactly no-one demanded it, Space Cabbie is back, baby! Let that meter keep running until the next time he graces the pages of the comic and you’ll have quite a fare racked up! Even an Otto Binder creation from 1954 deserves some love!

2018 revealed Crush as the illegitimate daughter of Lobo, and she gets a cage match story here. To be honest, I’m not reading Teen Titans, so this was my first intro to the character, she’s pretty fraggin’ cool, but like, whatever man.

Superman and Lois wrap it up with the last original story called “Glasses,” a musing on Clark and the glasses and the reveal and the marriage and the whole thing. A pretty cute story here with the most famous super-couple in the universe. I didn’t hate it but it’s not like we haven’t seen this story before. Whatever, it sure is cute regardless!
The last 10 pages are a classic Adam Strange story complete with a little romance between Adam and Alanna, rockets, something happening with the Zeta-Beam and lots of word balloons. OK, maybe it’s a little out of touch with a modern audience but it’s surely a classic story that’s cool to look at with bubble helmets and ’50s style rockets.

…and that’s the story of the latest 80-Page Giant from DC. The classic format is exciting for this reader but also you get a lot of bang-for-your-buck in so far as there is more content here than in 8 deconstructed modern comics. I’ll take an 8 or 10 page story any day! Make mine DC, just don’t make me try to find a Walmart, I live in the city and every month my heart is broken knowing there are new Batman comics I can’t get my hands on!

 

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