The holidays mean different things to different people, including the superhero community. That's why the DC Holiday Special is so diverse this year, with mysteries, Christmas party's, and some superhero action, of course, to liven things up.
It's all hands on deck this year for an 86-page Holiday issue, and as with any collection of themed stories, some hit more than others. On the whole, there are more hits than misses here, and all are relatively lighthearted. Even when things take a slight dramatic turn, it's more in the theme of a Hallmark Christmas movie rather than something truly heavy hitting. That's a good thing mind you, and there is plenty of heart throughout these 86 pages.
One of the initial highlights is the Detective Chimp and Batman caper "The Night We Saved Christmas" by Heath Carson and Gustavo Duarte. Chimp is respected by both Alfred and Bruce for his detective skills, but he also brings a healthy wit and some much-needed levity to the Batcave. The story is a classic whodunnit but contains some great comedic moments and Duarte's art is just phenomenal.
"A Flash Christmas Carol" also delights a classic superhero tale with a truly sweet ending. It might be too saccharine for some, but it was a heartfelt story that DC does quite well. The Superman and Batman starring "The Last Minute" is along the same lines, but again it felt more heartwarming than cheesy, and something indicative of the season.
Batwoman's "Light In The Dark" was also quite good and showed some lovely character development that will hopefully continue in her upcoming new series. The whole issue is glued together with a running story from Paul Dini and Elsa Charretier, which manages not to overstay its welcome along the way.
There are some duds with good intentions, like the "Day of Returning" and the Green Lantern starring "The Epiphany", but overall the issue is well worth a read, especially if you're looking for some heartwarming fare.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
You can view a preview of the issue in the gallery.
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