Christmas With the Super-Heroes #1 (DC)


Rating: 4.5/5 – Classic Christmas Tales With a Charm That Cannot Be Beat!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

This is a Christmas comic I bring out every year to display on my spinner rack as a holiday decoration, but this 1988 comic also a great read.  DC did some great Christmas themed stories over the year and this issue reprints some of the best.   It’s not really very expensive, it can be had for less than the price of most new comics, something for vintage comics aficionados to keep their eye out for.

This collection is a veritable who’s who of some of DC’s best creators, and who are all now legends of comics.  It contains, under a fabulous wraparound cover by John Byrne:

“Wanted: Santa Claus — Dead or Alive!”
Originally printed in DC Special Series #21
Story by Denny O’Neil with art by Frank Miller & Steve Mitchell. Batman helps a thug who takes a department store Santa job with some questionable intentions but has a change of heart.

“The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!”
Originally printed in Justice League of America (1st series) #110
Story by Len Wein with art by Dick Dillin & Dick Giordano.  The JLA stops a plot by The Key to commit what we’d call today an act of domestic terrorism.  John Stewart takes a turn as Green Lantern and and a visit from the Phantom Stranger too.  We also see the Red Tornado get a new costume as a Christmas present!

“The TT’s Swingin’ Christmas Carol!”
Originally printed in Teen Titans (1st series) #13
Story by Bob Haney with art by Nick Cardy.   A riff on the Dickens classic as the Titans help crusty junkyard owner Ebenezer Scrounge learn the true meaning of Christmas.

“Star Light, Star Bright…”
Originally printed in DC Special Series #21
Story by Paul Levitz with art by Jose-Luis Garcia Lopez & Dick Giordano.  Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes set out to find the star that was seen over Bethlehem in the story of Jesus’ birth.

“‘Twas the Fright Before Christmas!”
Originally printed in DC Comics Presents (1978) #67
Story by Len Wein & E. Nelson Bridwell with art by Curt Swan & Murphy Anderson.  The Toyman is stirring up trouble and Superman gets a helping hand from Santa Claus…or does he?

“The Silent Night of the Batman”
Originally printed in Batman (1st series) #219
Story by Mike Friedrich with art by Neal Adams & Dick Giordano.  A series of Christmas Eve vignettes in Gotham City that occur whilst Batman sings Christmas carols with Commissioner Gordon and officers at the police station.  The Neal Adams art sells this one, my favorite of the stories in this issue.

This comic is well worth buying to add to your collection, it brings back memories of simpler days.  Some of the stories are a bit dated (which shaved a half point off the rating) but have a charm that cannot be beat.  And don’t skip the text piece at the end by editor Mark Waid where he talks about selecting the stories for this issue…pure magic!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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