INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Young Heroes in Love #4, which was published by DC and is cover dated September 1997. Enjoy!
Young Heroes in Love is another title in this series that I haven’t actually read. I scooped up the issues cheaply over the past few years (just on a lark, really) and I haven’t gotten around to sitting down and reading them yet. But that means I can judge this page just on the page itself!
First, the title of the book tells us (if the page didn’t) that this is a humorous comic – I love “Cry Me a River of Nigh-Irresistible Beams!” because it’s insulting and uses the word “nigh,” which we used to see a lot in comics before they became “serious literature.” Dan Raspler doesn’t do much – Hard Drive (yes, that’s his name) is telling everyone to leave him alone while Off-Ramp (yes, that’s his name) comments about it. As it’s a splash page, Mike Manley also doesn’t have much storytelling to do, but consider how he lays out this page. The first thing we see is Superman, as he’s closest to the spine and is unblocked by the others (at least his torso is). This was, of course, during the time when Superman was some kind of blue electric being, but if you were reading DC comics at the time, you knew it was Superman, and he was still an icon, so whether Raspler put him in the book to goose sales or not, Manley knows that you don’t block out Superman in favor of a bunch of characters nobody knows yet. The rest of the heroes are crammed to the right, signifying their importance (or lack thereof) even in their own book. Monstergirl looks strangely happy that Hard Drive is upset – I don’t know if that’s something that plays out or if Manley screwed up. Our eyes move from Superman across to the Young Heroes, who are looking down at Hard Drive, so Manley does a nice job directing us over the page so we take it all in. Hard Drive’s fist is awkwardly placed, because his arm is cocked at a strange angle – presumably so it can frame the title of the story – and if he’s waving them off, he’s not waving, and if he’s wiping the tears out of his eyes, he’s not wiping (plus he has goggles over his eyes). I would have preferred his fingers to be extended so we can get more of a “waving” motion from the hand, but that would have obscured Bonfire and Monstergirl, so I get why he did it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Hard Drive, of course, is moving toward the edge of the page, indicating that it’s time for us to turn it.
Young Heroes in Love didn’t last long, but I know it has its fans. Maybe I’ll be one when I finally sit down and read it all! Until then, at least we have this splash page!
Next: One of my favorite characters gets his own book! Okay, well, his third shot at his own book. He’s already shown up in the archives, in case you want to puzzle it out!
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