Mysteries of Love in Space #1 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on January 30, 2019

Another DC anthology! I've been reviewing these over-sized books for a long time now and I really enjoy them whenever they come out. Sure, not all of the stories are great, but clearly a lot of love is put into them. As usual, I'll be critiquing the quality of the story as well as judging if they fit the theme of the book properly. Let's jump in!
"An Apokoliptian Love Story"
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jesus Merino
Colouring by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
This was a fun story! I thought it was getting a bit muddled towards the end by you're hit in the head by a pretty good twist. While this is a love anthology, this story fell more into the category of tragic love and I was fine with that. It worked for me. The art was pretty fantastic. I like Jesus Merino's work quite a bit and he works well with Romulo Fajardo Jr.
"Old Scars, Fresh Wounds"
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Cian Tormey
Colouring by John Kalisz
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
This was another great story. I know about this artist, Cian Tormey, as an artist in Declan Shalvey's circle of creator friends. His work here was stellar! I loved his take on the characters, and since Kilowog is normally a very hard character to find emotion in, I was doubly impressed with Tormey's expression work. Kyle Higgins' plot was really heartwarming as well. I judge that this fits the parameters of the anthology, although it stretches it a tad. It's generally about Kilowog's relationships with his friends rather than a romantic prospect, despite him going on a date in the story. Still, excellent story!
"Backwards Hearts"
Written by Saladin Ahmed
Art by Max Dunbar
Colouring by Paul Mounts
Lettering by Dave Sharpe
I'm a sucker for a genuinely emotional story, and this hit it home for me. When a Bizarro story is done right, then I can really respect a writer since he's normally a pretty hard character to pin down. Luckily I respect Saladin Ahmed a whole bunch due to BLACK BOLT and MILES MORALES over at Marvel, and this just amplifies his range for me. The Bizarro dialogue was mostly readable and flowed quite well. Max Dunbar's very expressive art worked very well for the main character himself, and Paul Mounts pulled off his usual magic and tightened the entire thing. Dave Sharpe has some solid balloon designs here that I thought were pretty gorgeous.
"Galentine's Day"
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Art by Elena Casagrande
Colouring by Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by Steve Wands
This is more of a story that I could relate to. Here, Hawkgirl is left alone without at the Hall of Justice without a date on Valentine's Day. Hawkman's going through some things over in his book so he hasn't been around. Cecil Castellucci frames this as a simple premise but she gets a lot done with it. There's a solid arc and she gets the most out of the limited page count she's given. Elena Casagrande's art is pretty nice too. It's amazing that, save for the letterer, this is an entirely female creative team, which lent a bit of authenticity and reality that strengthened the ending in particular.
"GPS I Love You"
Written by Aaron Gillespie
Art by Max Raynor
Colouring by Hi-Fi
Lettering by Dave Sharpe
This might have been my favourite story so far. I love Space Cabbie and this story hit all the right notes for me. Firstly, I found it hilarious. It's not realistic by any means, since Cabbie falls in love with in newly integrated A.I. feature in his cab. The relationship between Cabbie and the A.I. and the eventual forbidden romance that springs forth just made me giggle… and warmed my cold Canadian heart at the same time. Max Raynor's art was fabulous and I honestly wouldn't mind see this creative team handle as Space Cabbie anthology title.
Written by Andrea Shea
Art by Amancay Nahuelpan
Colouring by Trish Mulvihill
Lettering by Tom Napolitano
This was a pretty good story, but I'm afraid it didn't meet my qualifier of fitting in with the theme of the book. There was a little bit of romance, but not enough to rock my socks off. As far as I know this is Andrea Shea's first writing job. I know her as a member of DC editorial, but this was a pretty solid debut. There was no awkward dialogue, the story moved pretty nicely with Amancay Nahuelpan's amazing artwork, and it just a solid read. Good job!
Written by Jeff Loveness
Art by Tom Grummett
Inking by Cam Smith
Colouring by Adriano Lucas
Lettering by Tom Napolitano
This was just amazing, and perfect too. Superman is my favourite character of all time, and his general world and cast of characters is my favourite world to live in. The Daily Planet, Lois, Jimmy, Perry, Steve, Cat… and Metropolis. This story captures the essence of the relationship between Lois and Clark, and why Clark Kent is the greatest hero in the DC universe. Tom Grummett's art perfectly encapsulates the humanity and the loneliness of Clark. This was just a wonderful piece of art that everyone should read.
"The Planet and the Pendulum"
Written by Gardner Fox
Art by Mike Sekowsky
Inking by Bernard Sachs
This was certainly interesting to read. I didn't really expect DC to reprint any classic DC stories, and honestly I wasn't a fan of this move. I would have preferred reading something by a contemporary creative team. Nothing against Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, but I wasn't in the right mindset to read a Silver Age story and I honestly skimmed through it. The bits I read were very good, though. There's something about Fox's writing that transcends the usual Silver Age weirdness.
Overall I had a lovely time with this anthology. They keep getting better and better, and I think the editorial team of Alex Antone and Dave Wielgosz should be immensely proud of not only the talent they managed to accrue for this anthology, but also for the quality of these stories. I liked every single one, and even loved a few of them! It's kind of unprecedented.

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