I have the DC Universe app and they have COMICS on there, so I decided to review comics on my blog.
DCU Infinite Holiday Special
1 Holiday Issue
(Taken from the DC Universe app, linked above)
Join Superman, Supergirl, Batwoman, Shazam, Green Lantern, The Flash and Shadowpact as they spread the joy of the new season in their own special ways.
This collection of short comic tales is an enjoyable little Christmas romp, largely because if you don’t like a story you know it will be over soon and the next adventure will begin.
Green Lantern – This was a strange story about Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) visiting Hector Hammond for Christmas because he says he has a message for him. This message becomes a wonderful reminder for Hal about family, one in particular. Hector thinks he ruined Hal’s Christmas, he better think again. This is a nice and sweet little tale that reminds us of one of the things that people love about Christmas, which is remembering loved ones that we used to spend Christmas with. The artwork here is traditional and stands out as what DC was probably producing for the series at that particular time. This first story does contain a bit of disturbing imagery attached to the Hammond character, but outside of that it was definitely an enjoyable read.
Shadowpact – The Anti-Christmas League is after Santa! They want him DESTROYED! He knows just the people to talk with: SHADOWPACT! For real, that is what this story is about. Then it is the team saying what they will do to help him. The biggest pay-off is when you discover just who has actually been threatening Santa all these years. It was the biggest laugh pay-off! I chuckled a lot at it. Serves the jolly fat guy right! If you read this special for any reason, this story is it! You will laugh and maybe tear up a little from all of it. Again the artwork is on par for what they were producing in the “Shadowpact” series that was out around this time. I really enjoyed this one and I would reread this issue just for this single story!
Supergirl – This is one of the sadder tales within this collection. It reminds us though that even an alien from another planet can show us an important message about being there for our children, especially at the holiday season. That this is what the holiday is about. It isn’t about staying away or thinking you are bad for your child. It is about showing them you can be there, regardless of what you are dealing with. This is a very emotional tale, but one worth reading at least once. It is made even more poignant by the fact that Supergirl hadn’t been back in DCU proper very long at this particular moment, so she is still fresh-eyed and doesn’t understand all aspects of our world. This is made abundantly clear by some of her actions, but they all lead to an emotional payoff that showcases why Supergirl is important to the DCU and also why she has a heart made of gold. The artwork is not phenomenal, but it is in the style that they were utilizing for her during this particular time period. As a result, I cannot complain that much, it is somewhat distracting though and takes away slightly from the overall story. This is especially true with one character that I kept thinking was supposed to be an anthropomorphic rat! He wasn’t, he was supposed to be the father of a character in the story, but he didn’t look right for the vast majority of this tale. The story is still poignant though for this time of the year.
Trials of Shazam – This is one story where I kept at it, even though I kept thinking will this end soon PLEASE? The main reason is because I was unfamiliar with any of these characters. This was obviously something that DC was pushing at the time, if I remember right there was a mini-series for Trials of Shazam that was out near this time. This story involves those characters, but this felt very non-christmas oriented. It was more about a group of the bad “gods” having a party, which I guess could have been a Christmas one. Then the good ones made some things happen and ruined that party. It was a bit like, “What the heck did I just read and why was it in this Christmas special?” The artwork though was nice, I guess. Still wondering what the heck I read!
The Flash – This was another one where it felt like you had to be a bit caught up with things that had been going on with the Flash characters. The difference between this one and the last one though is that it just does it at the beginning as to why one of the characters doesn’t want to go to a gathering. He eventually gets over it and the story becomes one of how people can change and how sometimes Christmas is about helping others through a rough time of the year. It also is about how superheroes are always gonna be superheroes every day! This was a beautiful tale of family, on multiple levels. It is worth the read. The artwork again is traditional for the time period. It also adds to the story, in my opinion, as it has a lot of Christmas artwork throughout.
Batwoman – I don’t know how to properly talk about this story. This is one that hurt my heart, but in a beautiful way. In a way that made me remember just how well Greg Rucka writes a story. He is one of the true masters. This story is more about Hanukkah than it is Christmas, but the story it tells is important. That is the correct word, as well. Important. It reminds us of a terrible moment of history, the Holocaust. This story provides warmth though in a way I don’t think anyone could see coming. It is the comic book story we need to read for this time of year. One of hope. One of finding a light in a darkness. This is probably going to stand out as one of my favorite stories involving Batwoman and her alter ego Kate Kane ever. At this point, the character was fairly new, so it was interesting to see the artwork. While there is an established look to her books now, there simply wasn’t at this point. I loved the artwork here and felt like it really was done wonderfully for the tale they were presenting.
Superman – This is a goofball tale, where the Daily Planet receives a letter asking if Santa exists. Superman takes it upon himself to be Santa and show that he does. He is impeded though on his path to make this kids Christmas special by another prominent DC character who tries to steal his shine. What happens next? You need to read this special and find out for yourself. I enjoyed this story for what it was, especially after the initial set-up. After that it took on a life of its own and just was a goofy tale, which is nice to read at this time of the year. Sometimes we just need light-hearted tales to make us feel good and this one does that. That ending also! Made me laugh!
Overall, this collection is pretty darn good! There was only one tale where I wanted to zone out completely (Trials of Shazam obviously) which is nice in a 72 page collection! If you have never taken the time to read this Holiday special. I definitely recommend reading it on the DC Universe App! It is well worth the time and energy. It gives those good Christmas vibes!
DC has done a few of these holiday specials. Another is on the app, which I intend to review next week!