Cover Art by Nick Cardy Story Art by Tony Arbuzzo Number 121 1969
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.
When I first discovered romance comics I was amazed. How had I never known that something so ridiculously wonderful existed? Romance stories where girls (which apparently ALL women prefer to be called, not just me!) were never truly complete without a man by their side. Girls that wanted nothing more than a boy to take them away from their day-to-day lives as store clerks, socialites, or, god forbid, unpopular high school students. *gasp*
Some of the best stories were from Marvel, where many of them touted "As Told to Stan Lee". Now don't get me wrong, Stan Lee rules, but I refuse to believe that any girl ever felt compelled to pour out her soul to him and then let him publish it all in comic form.
These comics where full of loneliness, "hip slang", rich men and misunderstood bad boys just waiting for the right girl to come along.
So, lets forget all about Elizabeth Gaskell and Jane Austen. Let's sit down and enjoy stories of secretaries and the architects that will let them quit their jobs and support them.
I am a great fan of comics, View-Masters, magazine and book cover illustrations from the 50's, 60's and 70's, as well as old horror films. So that I don't drive my husband too crazy (or distract him too long from his own obsessions) I have chosen to obsess to strangers.