Young Love #80 (May/June 1970)
Liz lives by the axiom, "Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." But as you'll see, her carefree convictions are soon challenged by Richard Gates. Richard, as we come to find out, is not only a famous actor, but a complete and utter playboy. No woman thus far has been spared Richard's waning affections -- will Liz?
Liz preoccupies herself during the first week of rehearsals with learning her part, as any good actress would. However, her concentration is soon interrupted by Richard's desire for her. One day, Richard treats Liz to lunch. During their meal, Mr. Gates puts his ambitions for Liz out on the table.
Knowing his reputation, Liz is quick to dismiss him, but that only makes Richard press harder.
"How many times? Many times, Liz...
But don't get me wrong... I'm not a playboy...
Whenever I tell a girl I love her... I mean it!
D-Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you, Liz?
I--I never lie... I mean it when I tell a girl I love her...
But I also make sure to tell her... It can never last
much longer than six months or so...
and then... then... it's over!"
Not a playboy, huh, Richard? Well, lucky for you sir, Liz is totally smitten. And so, Richard dumps his current lady friend and an epic romance between him and Liz begins. Though Liz knows in her heart that she will soon meet the same fate as the other girls that Richard has toyed with, she relishes in their blossoming romance.
In an anticipatory move, Liz asks Richard what happens when he falls out of love with a girl. He is frank and tells her, "nothing, love!" He just leaves his former flames hanging. No more calls, no more text messages... oh wait -- that's our fate, isn't it, dating ladies of the 21st century? Anyway, like so many of us at one time or another, Liz begins to feel impending doom every time the phone doesn't ring. Or, doesn't vibrate, in our case.
Luckily for Liz, she hasn't gotten the ax yet, but that hasn't stopped her paranoia. She even goes so far as to ask Richard if he has ever, even once, asked a girl to marry him.
"No, no, I can't blame you, Richard...
You never lied to me... or pretended...
You warned me it wouldn't last...
I--I went into it with my eyes wide open,
my dear, dear darling..."
And then, very late that evening, there is a knock on Liz's door. Richard stands there, and then goes into a tirade. Liz, poor thing, looks pretty confused at this point.
Richard then takes Liz in his arms and declares that she has ruined his life. Ruined, because he can't live without her. Richard, former player, must marry Liz and spend the rest of his life with her and only her. Liz ecstatically promises to make marriage as painless as possible.
Whoa! So how do you feel after reading that beautifully illustrated story, replete with ups and downs?! This Gray Morrow piece is the ultimate in romantic fantasy -- one that addresses the dream of having the ability to change someone merely through the power of love. By the end, Liz is able to change Richard, so completely, so effortlessly -- just by being her wonderful self. Liz was, in short, able to "tame the beast."
Now, I know most of us at one time or another have had hopes we could change someone, whether it be a romantic interest or a family member. If you've been in this situation, you know the anxiety that goes along with hoping something we said or did would just rub off on them already, and make them come to a sudden realization about how wrong they were! Now, there is another side to this coin. Maybe it isn't so much that Liz changed Richard, but that she just turned out to be his "soul mate" -- which is decidedly more romantic. Either way you think about it, "Love Me a Little Longer!" is the ultimate romantic fantasy. And what better place for fantasy than in a comic book, right?