Comic Art Friday: Hello, young lovers!

Let’s be honest: This whole Valentine’s Day business is kind of silly.

It’s a holiday so bogus that even the Roman Catholic Church — an organization that never passes up an opportunity to invent a holiday — took it off its official calendar way back in ’69. (I hear you snickering. Stop.) For the most part, Valentine’s Day continues to be perpetuated primarily by commercial interests — the See’s Candies, Vermont Teddy Bears, FTD Florists, and Hallmark Cards of the world.

But hey… it’s about love. Who doesn’t support love, am I right?

So, in honor of romance on this Valentine’s Day, let’s root through the galleries and cull out a few great images of loving couples from the comics.

The Scarlet Witch and the Vision, pencils by Frank Brunner, inks by Geof Isherwood

Probably my favorite superhero love story of all time is that of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, and the android Avenger known as the Vision. This unlikely pairing — the passionate Wanda and the cool, distant Vision — made for some terrific storytelling during the Bronze Age. Here, Geof Isherwood — one of the industry’s most underrated artists, in my opinion — takes a rough preliminary sketch by the legendary Frank Brunner and transforms it into a dynamic work of finished art.

Spider-Man and Mary Jane, pencils and inks by Bob McLeod

Among the best romantic matchups of superhero and civilian was the longstanding marriage of Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and vivacious Mary Jane Watson (eventually Watson-Parker). I know a lot of fans preferred Peter with Gwen Stacy, but Gwen always seemed kind of dull to me. (The icy blondes typically are, unless you’re Alfred Hitchcock.) MJ was the kind of girl who would keep life interesting… which is why Peter married her, I think. I commissioned this beautifully drawn piece from New Mutants co-creator Bob McLeod.

Superman and Wonder Woman, pencils by Mike Wieringo, inks by Richard Case

The Superman-Wonder Woman romance was never really a thing in the actual comics until relatively recently. I’m still not sure that it works, but I do love this drawing — penciled by the late, much-missed Mike Wieringo, and inked by Richard Case.

Batman and Catwoman, pencils by Al Rio, inks by Geof Isherwood

Batman and Catwoman can’t decide whether they want to be a couple or not. At various times during the past several decades, their relationship has ranged all over the spectrum. Still, there’s probably not another pairing in comics with more raw intensity than Selina and Bruce. They’re captured here in a working moment by another monumental talent we lost too soon — Al Rio, with inks by Geof Isherwood.

Green Lantern John Stewart and Hawkgirl, pencils and inks by Wilson Tortosa

The love affair of Green Lantern John Stewart and Hawkgirl originated in the DC Animated Universe, by way of the Justice League TV series. So far as I know, this relationship hasn’t crossed over to the comics page in a major way. For me, though, it remains one of the highlights of the DCAU lexicon. Wielding the pencil and pen here is artist Wilson “Wunan” Tortosa.

Dynamo and Iron Maiden, pencils by Geof Isherwood

You’d have to be as ancient as I am to recall the days when the THUNDER Agents made their first foray into the spinner racks. Dynamo, the sometimes lunk-headed leader of the THUNDER crew, had an ongoing love-hate relationship with the villainous Iron Maiden (no relation to the heavy metal band of the same name). The duo gets wrapped up in a fighting clinch — or a passionate embrace; you be the judge — in this gorgeous tonal-pencil creation by Geof Isherwood.

Arak and Valda, pencils and inks by Tony DeZuniga

Speaking of thunder, the last time I visited with the great Tony DeZuniga before his passing, he drew this powerful scenario starring Arak, Son of Thunder, and his paramour and comrade-in-arms Valda the Iron Maiden (no relation to the preceding). The couple that slays together, stays together. (Words to live by, right there.)

Friend reader, I hope that wherever you find yourself today, you’ll take a moment to let those you love — romantically, familially, platonically, or otherwise — know that they’re special to you. To quote an old Don Henley tune, there’s just not enough love in the world. So get on that, will you, please?

Here’s my personal Valentine shout-out to the two ladies in my life: my beloved Pirate Queen, and my pride and joy, The Daughter. I love you both — in your own unique ways, of course — truly, madly, and deeply.

And that’s your Comic Art Valentine’s Day.

Explore posts in the same categories: Comic Art Friday, Hero of the Day, Reminiscing, SwanStuff, That's Cool!, Valentine's Day

2 Comments on “Comic Art Friday: Hello, young lovers!”

  1. I really like the Batman and Catwoman piece by Al Rio & Geof Isherwood. It’s a lovely collaboration, an interesting meeting of two different styles.

  2. Thanks, Ben. I have always liked Geof’s inks over Rio’s pencils. There’s something really powerful that comes through there.

    In addition to the Batman/Catwoman piece, Geof also inked two other Al Rio pieces for me:
    Wonder Woman:

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