Saturday, October 16, 2021


Joseph Self’s…

Selfish Thoughts

Marvel celebrates romance and manga with the one-shot love stories about characters ranging from Daredevil to The Answer.


I Heart Marvel: Marvel Ai

In Japanese, “Ai” means “Love”, an emotion literally oozing from the pages of this one-shot. Part of Marvel’s 2006 tribute to romance comics, this all-manga issue is written by former Marvel editor C.B. Cebulski, and features a trio of popular Japanese artists. The bittersweet stories are a strong reminder that love takes work and commitment.

In a tale reminiscent of high school, the Scarlet Witch describes her first date with the emotionally deficient android, The Vision. And in a story visually akin to a television cartoon, the Black Widow and Elektra fight over Daredevil — a hero who enjoys keeping his options open.

It is the middle story, however, that is worth the cost of the comic. The beautifully sketched tale of the Inhumans’ royal couple, Medusa and Black Bolt, shows that sometimes love, no matter how deep or strong the emotion, can still be a lonely experience.



I Heart Marvel: Outlaw Love

Valentine’s Day. Spring Fever. Whatever the reason, love is in the air. So are arrows, bullets, and other deadly weapons! As part of Marvel’s month-long celebration of love, this one-shot examines the romantic entanglements of super-villains, and the fine line between Love and Obsession. Of course, knowing the difference doesn’t always make a difference…

The Answer has the power to solve any question or problem — except, it seems, the key to winning the heart of his true love, Ruby Thursday, the cold-hearted con artist who replaced her own head with a powerful sphere of malleable plastic! (Anyone remember The Headmen from the Defenders?)

Unfortunately, as the latest target of Bullseye, the ultimate hired assassin, The Answer has more important things to worry about. Like staying alive long enough to figure out who suddenly wants him dead. The unexpected answer will add a bizarre twist to his love life… assuming he survives, of course!



From his secret Rocky Mountain refuge 9200 feet above the world, Joe indulges his passion for comics and other alternate realities, including his own. A long-time writer for ComicBase, his name is a veritable pun generator. You can e-mail your questions and suggestions to Joe at

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