February 7, 2010

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Mighty Love

Written by Howard Chaykin
Illustrated by Howard Chaykin
DC

[From my archives of unposted reviews, touched up a bit. -Rob]

Howard Chaykin writes and illustrates a story of two vigilantes who meet, have a few awkward moments, and ultimately fall in love, all while trying to bring the guilty to justice. In this case, it's a ring of counterfeiters out trying a large-scale money laundering scheme.

This mix of romance and righteousness happens by night, as with all good capes stories. By day, unbeknownst to our heroes, the team of Iron Angel and Skylark are warring figures on the legal battlefield.

She's a legit cop surrounded by corrupt men in blue while he's a sleezy lawyer. Put them in a room together and there's more sparring than when they take to the streets at night. Add a personal stake in the proceedings for both characters and you get a pretty good story that leaves you feeling satisfied by the end as long as you don't think about it too much.

And that's the main problem I had with this one. Once you stop to reflect on the story, it falls apart just a bit too much. It's like the story was put on paper before all the bugs were worked out. I know the whole conceit about being different when you put on a mask, but I could not get myself to believe that they wouldn't recognize each other, given how much time they spend together. Lois may not make the connection between Clark and Supes, but I think she would if she was with him nearly 24/7.

I felt like Chaykin preferred to ignore some of the problems constant contact would provide rather than address it. That was fine and made for a fun story, but I wanted a bit more from him as a creator I respect. It also felt like the art was rushed in places, further making it feel like this idea wasn't quite complete when DC published it.

Still, I liked the concept and not every story has to cover all the plot holes within it. If you want a non-complex superhero story with no continuity worries and like Chaykin's other self-contained stories, this is worth picking up if you can find it.