Given the New 52 re-imagining of the Phantom Stranger this just feels wrong. When what was really wrong was making him Judas Iscariot!

Justice League Unlimited #28

DC Comics (February, 2007)

“Season’s Beatings Justice League!”

WRITER: Mike McAvennie

PENCILER: Sanford Greene

INKER: Nathan Massengill

COLORIST: Heroic Age

COVER ART: Ty Templeton

LETTERER: John J. Hill

EDITOR: Michael Wright

It’s Christmas and Batman is still his usually grumpy self, leading to an argument with the Flash over how he handled himself when the League goes after Clayface. Batman sends Flash after the crook who got away but instead he encounters the Phantom Stranger, who shows Flash why he’s so grumpy, not only because he lost his parents because of two previous Christmases. The first one Wally is shown is when Clark talks Batman into joining him for a Christmas dinner with family, which reminds Bruce of the second Christmas Wally is shown, where a favored toy almost made him for get his promise to become Batman. Flash manages to find the final crook, and a little present that even makes Batman smile a bit.

What they got right: In an episode of Batman: The Brave & The Bold there’s an episode where the night of his parent’s death is near Christmas, something that show added to explain Batman not being in the Christmas spirit. I think this comic does a better job. It’s a minor incident but it means so much to Bruce that it’s enough to make Christmas a rough time for him. As a character story this works really well and makes a good showing for Wally and the Stranger.

What they got wrong: Minor nitpick from continuity but Bruce has been shown spending Christmas with Dick (and I would assume after he’d add Tim to that while Barbara would spend the holiday with her father), so unless the split that sent the first Robin to become Nightwing is still that strong it seems odd that he wouldn’t spend Christmas dinner with the Bat-Family. It also ignores why Wally is so impatient. Yes, he wants to find a particular non-Nintendo game system (and it would have been nice if Wally invited Bruce to try it out with him since Batman specifically notes a second controller), but his impatience is also cause by the way he perceives the world (that’s where this morning’s video post comes in), a necessary side effect of his speed powers. I want this series to acknowledge it to the other Leaguers when they act like he’s doing this on purpose and this franchise fails to do that in the DCAU. Basically it’s Christmas and this story should have ended with Bruce and Wally playing video games together.

Recommendation: A really good character story. Check it out if you can.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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