Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Vietnam-Time Romance.

"Second Choice!"
Heart Throb
DC Comics
Cover Art by Nick Cardy
Story Art by Tony Arbuzzo
Number 121

Once again we have a story in which the Vietnam War plays somewhat of a role. In this case, it allows for a convenient set-up where we can find a newly married man raising another man's baby without implying anything improper on anyone's part.

Okay, so convenient may be a bit of an exaggeration. The whole set up is terribly contrived and seems wholly unnecessary. But we are talking about the moral standards of the 'Code' and not necessarily a reflection of reality. I mean surely my parents weren't the only young teens driven down South for a quickie wedding in the late 1960's.

With Second Choice! we enter a story already underway. In a scene played out a thousand times before, Jim walks in on his girlfriend Amy in the arms of another man. The arms of a good friend.

Jim, though madly in love with Amy, is a complete gentleman about the situation and even acts as the Best Man in the wedding. But don't worry, give him a chance, he will eventually show his true colors and like all men reveal himself to be the tool he really is.

Now, of course, things get complicated. Serving together, Billy is a constant reminder to Jim of the woman he loves and the life that would have been his.

And then tragedy strikes.

Wounded himself, Jim is soon home. And thrown together by circumstance, it is only a matter of time before the feelings Amy felt for Jim before meeting Billy start to come back.

It only takes 3 months of marriage before the reality of having a baby really starts to sink in for Jim.

And raising someone else's baby at that.

Eventually the sleep deprivation has Jim cracking up.

And when you are THAT tired, not to mention badly in need of a quick tumble in the back room of a Thom McAn, you are bound to act like a jackass.

What a tool.

Of course, everyone deserves a chance to redeem themselves.

It is hard to believe it took Jim that long to figure it out. Maybe that war wound was a head injury.


  1. I find it amusing that the only time comics referred to the decade-long Vietnam war were in romance comics and Super Green Beret.

    Oh, and this: "he will eventually show his true colors and like all men reveal himself to be the tool he really is."

    Hey Aaron, you need to get your woman under control!

  2. rob!: Easier said than done, my friend. Easier said than done.

  3. Rob! & A: You two boys (and Mykal Banta) are exceptions, OF COURSE!

  4. Great story, Spectergirl! I have always loved this cover, but I don't have this issue. I love the Abruzzo art and he actually draws a decent baby. It is kind of ironic considering that her first husband died that Amy uttered the words, "the handsomest husband that ever lived" to Jim. Since this story is told from the guy's perspective, I will be sure to link to it in one of my posts this week!

  5. Spectergirl: "he will eventually show his true colors and like all men reveal himself to be the tool he really is."

    God, this is so true. Here is the usual path of love (condensed version):

    Early on: "Oh my, that's terrible. I really understand. No, I like listening, please go on. Can I get us another round? Oh, well, I guess I am a really good listener (pause) well, to you anyway."

    A bit later on: "Jesus, I just got home. Think I could at least get this fucking tie off before you start to chew me a new ear hole? Do we have any chips?"

    I appreciate being thought of as the exception to this inevitable descent into assholedom, but I can't live the lie anymore ;-)

    I love Jacque pointing out how the artist draws a good baby; she must know how hard that is to do. Mine always look like terrifying, bulb-headed freaks with tiny mouths.

  6. Jacque: Thanks for the link! Yes, I too absolutely LOVE this cover. And personally I felt like "the handsomest husband that ever lived" line would have ruined the mood way before the baby started crying

    And I agree! I have seen some frightening comic babies but this one is pretty cute.

    Mykal: LOL ... What a perfectly accurate relationship breakdown. I will have been married 15 years next month, and quite frankly, of the two of us, I am not sure who is the biggest asshole. I'm guessing it's Aaron!

  7. Spectergirl: If it's still a debatable question as to who is the biggest A-hole, I'd say that's a healthy sign!

  8. God, I love Tony Arbuzzo's art. His girls have such expressive eyes, and his men are astonishingly attractive. Does anyone know anything about him? Is he still alive?