Love Fights Vol. 2

Writer / Artist
Love Fights Vol. 2
Love Fights Andi Watson Vol. 2 review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Oni Press - 1-929998-87-2
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2004
  • Format: Black and white
  • UPC: 9781929998876
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes

Love Fights concerns Jack and Nora, in the early stages of a relationship after Jack’s not had any kind of romance in years. Both are superficially involved with superheroes via their employment. Jack draws the Flamer’s comic, while Nora works for a gossip magazine and recently placed a story about his undisclosed love child. However, toward the end of Vol. 1 the Flamer confronted Nora and claimed everything she’d discovered had been planted to discredit him. Jack also confronted her, but with accusations that she’d been two-timing him, information supplied by Jack’s newly super-powered friend. How that friend was transformed remains a mystery, and there’s plenty of mystery about motivations.

While Jack was likeable before, if perhaps a little too accepting, once he’s got the bit between his teeth it’s easy to see how excessive jealousy issues are going to ensure his relationship with Nora fails. Unless, of course, he can see sense. Producing a romcom where the mystery is who’s framing a superhero isn’t the easiest of plots to pull off credibly, and few creators other than Andi Watson would have considered it back in 2004, which makes it all the more pleasing that Love Fights still reads well and looks sharp.

Three main superheroes feature. While much is about the Flamer, he’s actually rarely seen until halfway, during which the Fader is more prominent, a seedy guy who lives in his mask and takes security jobs. The state of his office doesn’t indicate a former member of the prominent Gene Team, but he seems to be doing right by Nora. As for the third, they’re best kept under wraps, but they’re innovative and certainly complicate Jack’s life. Because Watson has no vested interest in the sanctity of superheroes he takes a sardonic approach in bringing them down to Earth. A mention of a world-changing event that affected them all in Vol. 1 seemed to be just in passing, yet, cleverly, it’s actually crucial to everything that’s going on. However, it’s an explanation, not an excuse for a superhero slugfest as Love Fights remains stubbornly about the people. Also clever is the way Watson extrapolates the likes of superhero fans across wider society.

This remains a delightful package all the way to an ending exploring the idea that sometimes we don’t know what we want until we have it, and then it’s a perfect fit. Yet don’t take happiness for granted. Watson seems to subscribe more to the one day at a time version.

If you’re tempted, as with Vol. 1, the digital versions now for sale via Watson’s website have been reworked, and now feature a colour upgrade with the pages in black, white and pink.