Young Romance #170, February-March 1971

Dick Giordano was responsible for the lovely cover adorning this issue of Young Romance. He was also the editor for just this one issue, and seems to have been attempting to bring the romance genre a little more up to date. In addition, this was one of DC’s earliest giant-sized issues before the entire line made the jump later in the year. As such, it contains not one but two (count ’em!) tales of The Swinger. Sadly, it’s not as exciting as it sounds…

The Swinger, as is helpfully pointed out on the cover, is one Lily Martin.

In the first tale, “Love is a Swinger”, Michelle becomes afraid that she’s rushing into marriage with Dick. Unfortunately, she then witnesses the profound effect that folk singer Lily Martin has on Dick. He’s suddenly a new man, who likes dancing! “I’ve a terrible feeling she’s opened that door for Dick!” frets Michelle. She decides to return Dick’s ring. Dick, however, has other ideas. He’s gotten over his infatuation with Lily, who was merely “using [him] to try to forget some terrible secret locked in her heart!”

Michelle finally gets her hands on Dick, as Lily drives away strumming her guitar. “Love is a swinging door,” she sings, “that opens into an empty room…”

The final story in the issue, “Rise, Love, Rise”, sees Lily help out a young singer hit with terrible stage fright in front of a festival crowd. We learn that Lily’s “terrible secret” was that her boyfriend died in a car accident directly after she’d told him she was leaving. She falls for the young singer, but is haunted by her past, fearful that history will eventually repeat itself, and so, as the newly confident boy takes to the stage, she fades away.

Further adventures were promised, but Lily Martin, “the tormented girl who never stops swinging between heaven and heartbreak, between ecstasy and agony,” never swung again.

©2010 DC Comics