DCU Holiday Special 2010
DC Comics (February 2011)
Like all the “DC Universe” Holiday Specials, the 2010 edition is an anthology, showing various characters in the DC universe celebrating the holidays. So let’s go through each comic individually.
“Sometimes the Bear…” is a story by Joey Cavaleri with Carlo Soriano on art and coloring. It features Anthro the caveman. I have no idea who the heck he is but it’s a good story, as Anthro and his father (I guess) go hunting and come across cannibals while his little brother, who has a bad leg, tries to prove that he can be a good hunter. It’s fun, but I really don’t care about any of the characters.
Jonah Hex takes the spotlight in the obligatory Hanukkah (according to my spell check but the book has it as “Chanukah”–can we get one official spelling please?) story, “Guiding Light”. When a rabbi is killed and his son injured, Jonah Hex gets involved and may experience his own “Festival of Lights” miracle. Seth J. Albano writes a good story, although I care only slightly more about Hex than Anthro. Renato Arlem on art and Bruno Hang on colors complement the writing well with their art.
John Stewart is up next in my least favorite story, “Holy Day”. Tony Bedard and the team of Richard and Tanya Horie give us the tale of Stewart being called in by a rookie Lantern to investigate what turns out to be a rather violent-looking religious festival. This leads John to remember seeing a violent Muslim ritual (for the Shi’A anyway) and how his CO told him of a group of Crucifixion reenactors. It makes the case that it’s no big thing, but I sharply disagree, but I won’t bog down this review with my reasoning. Plus, you have a flashback during a flashback? Really? I could have done without this story.
Superman gets the obligatory (apparently for this series) non-holiday tale. “Hero of Heroes” by Kevin Grevioux and the team of Roberto Castro and Scott Koblish is about Superman honoring a kid who saved his family from a fire while being horribly burned. Is it a good story that looks into what makes a hero? Sure. Does it belong in a HOLIDAY special? No.
The current Spectre travels to Iran to learn about a custom that predates Islam and Christianity in “The Gift”. I don’t know what kind of research Dara Naraghi did as I’ve never heard of “Norouz” before, but it’s a good story for the Spectre, make of that what you will.
The final story features the Legion of Superheroes and is again not a holiday tale, although it’s titled “Holiday”. More a promotion of taking a day off, various Legionaries investigate a series of false alarms. While it’s one of those stories (which I’d bet was written by non-religious people, but I don’t know what Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning believe in) that doesn’t quite get religious celebrations (which it laughs off as “antiquated” in the 31st Century) it isn’t a bad story either. Chris Batista & Rich Perrotta draw some nice art.
Not only is this year’s offering a major improvement over last year’s–they didn’t try to cram too many stories in for one–but one I recommend picking up for good one shot stories. I’m not sure how it qualifies as a Holiday comic, but I guess I’m the type who would prefer an old fashioned Christmas special instead.
Tomorrow’s Comic> Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #9