Mysteries of Love in Space #1
Writers: James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins, Saladin Ahmed, Cecil Castellucci, Aaron Gillespie, Andrea Shea, Jeff Loveness, Gardner Fox
Artists: Jesus Merino, Cian Tormey, Max Dunbar, Elena Casagrande, Max Raynor, Amancay Nahuelpan, Tom Grummett, Cam Smith, Mike Sekowsky, Bernard Sachs
Colorists: Romulo Fajardo Jr. John Kalisz, Paul Mounts, Jordie Bellaire, Hi-Fi, Trish Mulvihill, Adriano Lucas
Letterers: Clayton Cowles, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands, Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Melissa Prange
Valentine’s Day is coming, and a legitimate way to get yourself in the mood is by reading the romantic stories in DC Comics’ Mysteries of Love in Space #1. Centering on space-themed superheroes and villains, Mysteries of Love in Space follows Superman, Bizarro, Kilowog, Hawkgirl, and many others as they both find and lose love.
Mysteries of Love in Space #1 contains eight romantic comics in all, and excitingly, most of them are fantastic. It’s rare to come across a comic collection with such a good percentage of truly strong comics, and DC Comics’ Valentine’s Day special absolutely succeeds. The artwork overall is beautiful, and the stories find a balance between bittersweet and cute.
For me, the strongest comic in Mysteries of Love in Space is “Glasses.” Told through Lois’ point of view, “Glasses” is much more than simply a love letter from Lois to Clark. In one small package, it exemplifies what makes Superman such a fantastic hero. Some people find Superman boring, but “Glasses” illustrates why he’s so important by showing him through Lois’s eyes. Through her, we see how strong, lonely, and kind he is and also how much he needs her. If you need one reason to buy Mysteries of Love in Space #1, “Glasses” is a good one. While most of the stories are strong, “Glasses” is the heart of the collection. The art by Tom Grummett, Cam Smith, and Adriano Lucas complements the characters and story well. Truly, everything about it is perfect.
While “Glasses” stands apart as being remarkable, Mysteries of Love in Space contains five other very strong comics. “Backward Hearts” featuring Bizarro ranked second for me overall. With a story by Saladin Ahmed and art by Max Dunbar, the tale of Bizarro finding someone who understands him is both cute and substantial. With most of these stories, it’s surprising how much character development and depth are wrapped up in approximately ten pages. It’s a testament to just how good these writers and artists are that such short love stories work so well.
“Galentine’s Day” and “Old Scars, Fresh Wounds” also deserve a shout-out. Elena Casagrande’s art in “Galentine’s Day” is my favorite in the entire issue. I adore the retro, pop art look which fits well with Hawkgirl’s story about dealing with her lack of soulmate. The story itself is sweet, but the art elevates it to a must read. “Old Scars, Fresh Wounds” meanwhile is less of a love story and more of an exploration of loss and healing. It doesn’t necessarily end with a happily ever after, but its story of Kilowog and the Green Lantern Corps is strong in a similar way to “Glasses.”
The only comics which didn’t resonate with me were “The Planet Pendulum” and “An Apokoliptian Love Story.” With “An Apokoliptian Love Story,” it’s not that the comic isn’t good, but rather that it pales in comparison with the other stories. Possibly, if you’re a big fan of the New Gods, the story about Darkseid will be more suited to your taste, but for me, I found it ultimately forgettable. As for “The Planet Pendulum,” it’s a reprint of an older Adam Strange comic, and I struggled with it. The comic isn’t particularly romantic and it came as a let down after the exemplary “Glasses.”
The Verdict: Buy it.
With its heartfelt romances and bittersweet breakups, Mysteries of Love in Space #1 is a must read. While the cost might be a bit steep for a non-trade paperback, it’s absolutely worth it. The comics find the perfect balance between sweetness and depth, so if you’ve ever wanted to read some romance comics, this issue will definitely satisfy your yearnings.