It’s almost Valentine’s Day, comic fans, and DC has released an all-new collection of romance short stories. This eighty-pager is better-than-usual, funnier than ever, and has its heart in the right place.

Let me start off with the covers and variants. Each one is strongly composed and fun; There’s the Aquaman regular cover by Amanda Conner, and the Super-plaid shirt variant by David Talaski, and the Men At Sunset variant by Elizabeth Torque.

Writer Alexis Quasarano hits it out of the park ‘right off the bat’ haha, with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in ’Stranger Than Fan Fiction’. It’s Valentiney, it unfolds smoothly and fluidly, it has wit, heart and drama. Artist Max Sarin (incredible colours by Marissa Louise) does the impossible with figures that gesticulate, rotate, eminate and fold, bend and mutate. The pacing and flow of this story-within-a-story is simply impeccable and worth the comic cover price all by its’ little ‘ol self. Well-positioned lettering by Taylor Esposito.

Of course, there are several other brilliant spots in the book. And the key, in my opinion, to a ’successful’ short story in a Valentine’s book is to play with the tropes and mix them all up. Short stories don’t allow a lot of development time, so just get in there and play!

Splendor In The Foam, written by Ivan Cohen and illustrated by Fico Ossio (colours by Sebastian Cheng, letters by Carlos M. Mangual) plays up a table full of female comic characters, all comparing notes about Aquaman, each the star of their own galaxy, the heroine of their own drama. Wonderfully realized, entertaining, funny, and drawn with a sense of humour and exaggeration.

And so much more! It’s a good issue, so pick this one up, and enjoy right out of the box, complete with chocolates and wine!

DC Comics, Harley Quinn Romances, $9.99 for 80 pages of content.

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!