Lovers looking for reading material to further augment their Valentine’s Day vibes would do well to check out comic books, which in recent years have become a great source of beautifully told, inclusive love stories.
Check out EW’s list of wonderful romance comics below. Whether it’s an actual holiday, or you’re just feeling romantic, these comics provide plenty to love.
Mister Miracle #5 (DC)
Tom King (writer), Mitch Gerads (artist)
Mister Miracle is about a lot of things, including the difficulty of dealing with overwhelming anxiety about yourself and the world. The titular escape artist protagonist attempts suicide on the series’ very first page, and readers are treated to constant reminders that evil is implacable and “Darkseid is.” But as Scott Free has discovered over the course of six issues so far, one of the best ways of dealing with darkness is to have a strong and loyal partner by your side. His marriage to Big Barda is a main focus of the series, just as Batman’s engagement with Catwoman has taken the spotlight of King’s ongoing Batman run.
This fascinating relationship takes center stage in the comic’s standout fifth issue, in which Scott and Barda navigate their last day together before Scott is due to be executed by his step-brother Orion. Their itinerary includes getting the best sandwich in the universe, visiting a friend’s grave… and lots and lots of bondage sex. This Valentine’s Day, just remember: There’s nothing sexier than beating your lover’s enemies to death with a Mega-Rod.
Sex Criminals (Image)
Matt Fraction (writer), Chip Zdarsky (artist)
In the spirit of Valentine’s, this comic is all about that unique, transcendent joy of finding The One. Individually, Jon and Suzie had struggled with a strange superpower: Their orgasms briefly stop time. When they sleep together for the first time, they learn they can share that time bubble. Naturally, they immediately use their power to rob banks and prank their evil corporate overlords. Acting like Sex Criminals is about as fun as it gets. Just be sure to watch out for the Sex Police…
Buy Sex Criminals volume 1 here.
Bingo Love (Image)
Tee Franklin (writer), Jenn St-Onge (artist)
Think of it like “San Junipero” without the science-fiction. This beautiful new graphic novel tells the love story of Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray, who fell for each other the moment they met at church bingo. Unfortunately, they happened to come of age in the 1960s, when widespread homophobia (including from their own families) kept them from being together. Fifty years later, they get a second chance at true love when church bingo brings them together once again. It’s a lovely romance for the ages that doesn’t shy away from the difficulties of prejudice, aging, and the closet.
Buy Bingo Love here.
The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)
Jen Wang (writer/artist)
A royal falling for a commoner is one of the oldest love story archetypes in existence, and it’s still going strong — just look at how excited everyone is for Prince Harry’s upcoming wedding to American actress Meghan Markle. In Wang’s version, the royal in question is Prince Sebastian, a young heir who’s supposed to be looking for a bride. But instead, Sebastian spends his nights wearing beautiful dresses as Lady Crystallia, a Paris fashion icon. He couldn’t do it without the help of the dressmaker Frances, who harbors her own dreams of becoming a famous designer. Together, the two teenagers work to make each other’s dreams come true in this story about choosing your own path.
“Jen’s writing takes a very personal and sensitive look at gender expression, identity, and family,” First Second editor Calista Brill told EW last year. “It has a very, very happy ending which is the thing that I love the best about it.”
Order The Prince and the Dressmaker here.
Silver Surfer (Marvel)
Dan Slott (writer), Michael Allred (artist)
For decades now, superhero stories have dominated the comics format. But back in the early days of the medium, there were plenty of other genres at play, from monster stories to romance comics. Slott and Allred’s recently-concluded run on Silver Surfer is unquestionably a superhero story, given its comically powered protagonist, but it also reaches back into those halcyon days with its central romance between the Surfer and the ever-inquisitive human girl Dawn Greenwood. As they journey across the stars, meeting all kinds of strange new worlds and people, Dawn and the Surfer form a vivid bond.
“We tricked everyone,” Slott recently told EW about the series. “We got you to think it was an adventure, we got you to think it was Doctor Who, and that was all window dressing. What we were secretly selling you on was, it’s a romance comic. And by the time you figure that out, it’s too late, and we’ve got you.”
Buy Silver Surfer volume 1: New Dawn here.