DCU Holiday Special 2008
By Koppy McFad
December 19, 2008 - 21:44
Writer(s): Alan Burnett, Franco Aureliani Art Baltazar, Dan DiDio, others
Penciller(s): Rodolfo Migliari, Kevin Maguire, Ian Churchill, Tim Levins, Yishan Li, others
Cover Artist(s): Frank Quitely
$5.99 US 80 pages
It is genuinely odd to see DC heroes celebrating Christmas at a time when most DC books are filled with such doom and gloom. This special issue contains a series of short stories about the Christmas season that try to be uplifting and joyful even though DC comics has been wallowing in the grim and the gritty for months.
Taken on their own however, the stories are rather pleasing. There is an emphasis on forgiveness and family and a good showing by characters who have largely been pushed to the sidelines like Aquaman, the Huntress and the female Dr. Light. The story on the secret origin of Santa Claus is funny and the Robin-Nightwing story is touching. The Dr. Light story is more of a straight adventure tale which just happens to be set during Christmas while the Huntress tale is a bit overly-complicated, to the point that the sentiment behind it becomes lost. Oddly, Dan DiDio's story, featuring Aquaman, is the only one with explicit Christian imagery and is rather poignant, seeing as how Aquaman isn't even depicted as having a Christian background.
The art is largely in the hands of up-and-coming talents and they tend to do a good job. The Huntress story is a bit cartoonish-- and rather too dark for a cartoonish style-- but other than that, all the artists turn in a praiseworthy effort.
The cover by Quitley could also be better laid-out. It is hard to recognise some of the figures in that crush of presents and snowflakes. Or maybe the confusing cover is just a sign of how the very concept of Christmas cheer has become so alien to the DC universe.
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