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November 4, 2020

Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story by Lauren Myracle, illustrated by Isaac Goodhart ~ a Review

by MK French

Victor Fries feels responsible for the house fire that killed his brother. His parents are emotionally distant, so Victor devotes his life to science. Nora Kumar is his opposite. She's full of life and social, knowing that she has an incurable disease. She plans to kill herself on her birthday but then meets Victor. The two recognize the emptiness and loneliness in the other, and a romance blooms between them. Victor is now driven to save Nora, no matter the cost.
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Victor and Nora A Gotham Love Story
November 2020; DC Comics; 978-1401296391
ebook, print (200 pages); comic
The coloring in the comic panels reflects the characters, which you can see below. Victor, the painfully shy teen with anxiety and the connection with cold, has predominantly blue panels. Nora, bubbling with life even as a disease limits that life, has pink ones. When they meet in the cemetery as they mourn their dead, colors start bleeding into each others' panels. There are splashes of other colors as they influence each other. Nora brings out Victor's caring and love for others, and he becomes someone else that she loves and can't bear to leave behind when she dies. As her symptoms progress over the summer, Victor takes it upon himself to go beyond his studies in cryogenics to find a cure for her illness.

For those that know the original origin of Victor and Nora, they'll recognize some aspects of this comic. They're teens here, and Victor is still working on his formula to freeze people with the intent of thawing them later. Because they're teens instead of adults, it's that much more heartbreaking. Nora barely got a chance to live, and both have already dealt with so much grief already. It's part of why they get along in the beginning, but they accept each others' oddities and meet in the middle, just as the coloration of the panels do. The art is wonderful, complementing the story; in a visual way, we see Nora's deterioration and Victor's determination to save her. Because we have a retelling here, I hope their future turns out better than the original canon. Victor and Nora deserve a life together, and I hope he's able to figure it out.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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