DKN Spotlight Review: DC’s ‘How to Lose a Guy Gardner in 10 Days’

“DC’s How to Lose a Guy Gardner in 10 Days”
Writers:  Kenny Porter, Alex Galer, Aaron J. Waltke, Dennis Hopeless, Brendan Hay, Danny Lore, Marguerite Sauvage, George Mann
Artists: Nick Robles, Derek Charm, Ivan Shavrin, M.L Sanapo, Ted Brandt, Ro Stein, Leonardo Rodrigues, Marguerite Sauvage
Color Artists: Nick Filardi, Derek Charm, Baldemar Rivas, Ivan Shavrin, Ted Brandt, Ro Stein, Joe Prado, Jonas Trindade, Hi-Fi, Marguerite Sauvage
Letterers: Travis Lanham, Ferran Delgado, Becca Carey, Steve Wands, Carlos M. Mangual, Frank Cvetkovic, Josh Reed
Review by Carl Bryan

DC’s How to Lose a Guy Gardner in 10 Days is DC’s “Rom-Com” Valentine’s Day entry for 2024. Instead of a card, why don’t you purchase this compilation of superhero tales, all of which are loosely based homages to some well-loved cinematic outings?

I’ll take my issue with a steak dinner, red wine, and a box of cherry cordials, please!

I’m telling you Joey… This is going to be a certified Winner!”
– Vicki Vale.

How to Lose a Guy Gardner in 10 Days

Kenny Porter’s title story shows Vicki Vale writing a story on the perils of dating a superhero. It’s funny how, since the 1980s, we’ve associated Vicki with Batman, but she is quite the columnist, constructing this article on dating for the Gotham Gazette!

Porter’s depiction of Gardner really peels back the “Green Onion… ahem… Lantern” to his core of this misunderstood and constantly misunderstanding character. This is the perfect leadoff batter for this Valentine’s Day comic! It’s very poignant, and who doesn’t enjoy a bike ride?

Robots are Red, Androids are Blue

Aaron J. Waltke lets us know that Androids, such as the Red Tornado, really are capable of feelings. This story blurs the lines between our taking our friends for granted, and assuming that they may not have plans, while also exploring the friend zone that even androids are annoyed by.

I’m not revealing the ending here, but this one put a smile on my face! Good for Red Tornado!  However, this is best read with Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” blaring in the background.

Too Many First Dates

Marguerite Sauvage’s tale takes its cue from the Adam Sandler vehicle “Fifty First Dates”, but with Flash and Iris at the helm.  How many times can you perfect the perfect date?  Given all the things that can happen to all of us when Flash goes back and forth in time, it really hammers home the message that “rinse, wash, and repeat” should be left on shampoo bottles and not in love stories! This is best read with Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” as your background music!

Golden Pairs

Danny Lore puts Booster Gold at the forefront of trying to ‘time fix” a dating app investment. Brandt and Steins’ artistic clean lines are the best thing about this story as Lore cannot put a shine on this character. While the writer tries to make Booster a loveable oaf, he just has too much baggage.

Again, the art is more suited to a Scooby Doo comic, making it hard to take the story seriously as it tries to end on a “love note”… pun intended. While the Marauder ends her journey on a boat, this entry ends up being an anchor to the book and not a sail.

Never Been Kissed

Alex Galer’s story’s quite the “Stand by Me” or “Stranger Things’ tale, but not as horror-filled… even though John Constantine and Gary Lester are the protagonists. This time, the movie and TV homages feel more like best friends are with you through thick and thin.

The younger version of Constantine we meet here is always seen with a lollipop instead of a cigarette, that’s a lovely touch. We get great writing and art throughout as this is a tale of best friends whose love for each other is an example of the kind of friendship we should all have in our lives! For me, this is probably the best tale in the entire book!

Love’s a Stretch!

Dennis Hopeless takes on a Plastic Man story where Eel O’Brian’s an interesting “hero”, as his previous life of crime life has remnants that have carried forward with his rather new life as one of the elastic heroes that don’t have brains (shhhh, don’t tell Marvel, or Ralph Dibney).

Plas is in the love gutter as his girlfriend only wanted him for his hero status and he cannot figure out who loves him for just himself.  It turns out that, just like in real life, love can sometimes be right there under your nose.

Say Yes to the Mess

Brendan Hay’s story features Wonder Woman as the choice for everyone’s Valentine. What do you do when everyone wants to have a ‘battle royale” for your affections? Let ’em duke it out! However, Diana’s heart’s best not tied down, as she needs to take on the town for her “Galentine’s Day” (a tribute to the wonderful cinematic Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot). This tale gives fans a tongue-in-cheek social commentary on cards, flowers, and the usual Valentine’s Day trimmings!

Date Night

What Valentine’s Day compilation would be complete without a Nightwing and Batgirl story?  George Mann gives us an eye-opening glimpse into one night when our favorite DC couple has a date. Of course, as luck would have it, crime doesn’t take a night off.  Lucky for us, they don’t either.

Even Haley, AKA Bitewing, makes an appearance which makes the final story even better!

Conclusion

Admittedly, I couldn’t match up all the stories with their cinematic counterparts in DC’s How to Lose a Guy Gardner in 10 Days, but here’s hoping that you can! I enjoyed seeing some of the themes from movies taking shape using DC characters as their protagonists.

It turns out that even the most powerful heroes are “looking for love in all the wrong places” or at least finding it along the way as they fight crime!

Seriously, include this in your Valentine’s Day gift to your partner or betrothed! What better way to share your love for comics than to give them one all about love?

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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