There are some things that are just synonymous with Valentine’s Day. Candy hearts, flowers, chocolates, rotund little cupids and DC’s annual anthology celebrating love within the DC Universe. While the February one-shot may be a relatively new addition to our yearly slate, its roots go all the way back to the Golden Age and the mid-century heyday of romance comics like Girls’ Love Stories and Young Romance.
Of course, love and romance have changed since the days of those early anthologies. While once a jilted lover might respond by locking herself in her bedroom and crying, these days they’re far more likely to lash out and seek revenge…especially if the heartbroken young woman is Harley Quinn.
“Lightning in the Bottle” transports us back to earlier in Ms. Quinn’s life, when the Joker was still her puddin’ and she was more likely to shoot Batman with a red and black bazooka than work with him to save Gotham. In case you’d forgotten, those days weren’t the greatest for Harley, who frequently found her often quite spectacular overtures shot down by the Joker in equally spectacular fashion, which would then lead to her lashing out…well, rather spectacularly. Like defacing the entrance to the Hall of Justice and picking a fight with Shazam level spectacularly.
In our exclusive first look at this year’s Valentine’s Day anthology, Strange Love Adventures #1, we sample the first five pages from Stephanie Phillips and Jon Sommariva’s contribution, which finds Harley on one of her many breaks with the Joker and discussing the travails of modern super-villain romance. It’s one of eight different stories that you’ll find in the book, featuring such DCU denizens as Superman, Batman, the Flash, Gorilla Grodd, Sgt. Rock and Peacemaker. Best of all, when you’re done reading, we guarantee that you appreciate that special person in your life even more than you did at the start. At least, provided they’re not also in the habit of biting the most powerful superheroes in the universe…
Strange Love Adventures #1, featuring “Lightning in a Bottle” by Stephanie Phillips, Jon Sommariva and Rex Lokus, is available Tuesday, February 8 in print and as a digital comic book.