Monthly Archives April 2017

Teen Titans (1966) 13

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Teen Titans (1966) 13

Teen Titans (1966) 13

This is one I’ve been waiting to add; a personal favorite of mine since I first read it way back in Christmas of 1973 in the first DC Limited Collector’s Edition (C-34) Christmas With the Super Heroes.

Following the Summer of Love counter culture was becoming mainstream and everyone was jumping on the band wagon. Though watered down, Teen Titans 13 attempts to capture the flavor as Mod became part of the English language. Writer Bob Haney beat readers over their collective heads with the vernacular as Robin, Auqalad, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash flung slang throughout the issue. Artist Nick Cardy proved to be ahead of the advertising curve with product placement as prevalent as porn on the Internet.

This is just a fun read and peek at the times.

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Batman the Holiday Special (1992)

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Batman the Holiday Special (1992)

Batman the Holiday Special (1992)

This book is a pleasurable four-color advent calendar between Christmas and New Year’s Eves featuring the core cast of Batman the Animated Series and some colorful villains to add value to the $2.95 price tag.

It’s hard to pull a favorite out of the five featured here, though the first two stories set the bar high for the remainder of the book.

“Jolly Ol’ St. Nicholas” is an off-beat ‘em up teaming Batgirl, Harvey Bullock and Officer Renee Montoya. The second installment showcases Harley and Ivy as they skirt the system for some last minute shopping.

Paul Dini does the writing chores for all the stories with co-credits to Bruce Timm on “Jolly Ol’ St. Nicholas” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and Ronnie Del Carmen for “The Harley and the Ivy.” Timm does art chores for “Jolly Ol’ St. Nicholas” and color for the books finale, “Should Old Acquaintance be Forgot.”

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House of Mystery (1951) 191

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House of Mystery (1951) 191

House of Mystery (1951) 191

DC’s “House” series of horror books have become cult classics. They never received the recognition they deserved in their day and only now are given the spotlight when one of the many great artists who cut their teeth on the creepy crawly contents are mentioned.

Issue 191 has a cover by Neal Adams, a short by Sergio Aragones and a Christmas story written by Len Wein and illustrated by Bernie Wrightson. This is just a few months prior to their collaborative creation Swamp Thing saw print in House of Secrets 92.

In only three pages the two are able to encapsulate the fears and paranoia of 1971 America, but still offer hope.

The story proved popular enough to be reprinted in DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest 24, A DC Universe Christmas trade, Limited Collector’s Edition C-43, Roots of the Swamp Thing three and Showcase Presents The House of Mystery trade volume one.

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Thor (1966) 444

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Sometimes it’s hard to look at the past. And, I’m not just talking about the issue in question.

Cover dated February 1992 the issue features a backdrop of the era that spawned it. “How the Groonk Stole Christmas” may be confusing for non-Thor fans, but maybe more so for those who missed the early 1990s in general.

By and large, this is a Christmas issue from the shadowy Dr. Seuss knock-off on the cover through holiday drama as bland as the era.

Thor (1966) 444

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Christmas With the Super-Heroes (C-43)

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Christmas With the Super-Heroes (C-43)

Christmas With the Super-Heroes (C-43)

DC followed its Christmas With the Superheroes 1974 edition with a second stocking stuffer the following season.

Included was maybe DC’s first Christmas special: Superman’s Christmas Adventure cover dated 1940 as well as probably the most cited Batman holiday tale Silent Night of the Batman from Batman 219; a classic Wonder Woman story socking it to the Nazis; a Joe Simon/Jack Kirby collaboration on Sandman and maybe my introduction to the House of Mystery with Night Prowler.

This is another stocking stuffer and the second of my Christmas comic books. Most of what I remember is probably conjecture based on the repetition of my childhood Christmas mornings, but I know I pulled this from my stocking Christmas morning 1975 as America readied itself for the Bicentennial, Watergate began to fade from memory and Saturday Night Live took hold on television and the American landscape.

If I actually took note of any of the above, it was probably the prevalence red, white and blue merchandise that paled beside the four-color holiday treasure I would read over and over.

It would be nice to go back in time and review those moments. Some, maybe most, would be remembered far more fondly than they actually were, but to relive a moment most consider so trivial at the time that proved so profound for the simple fact it has become a cherished memory would be worth almost anything.

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Flintstone Christmas Party

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Flintstone Christmas Party

Flintstone Christmas Party

Cover dated 1977, this was the hey-day of Saturday morning television. When breakfast cereals still heralded their sugar content. Before Ronald Reagan deregulated laws against advertising to children and animated afternoon commercials became the norm.

This was the pinnacle of programming for children, no parents allowed.

To celebrate, Marvel Comics used the soon-to-be Saturday night staple Love Boat’s credo and featured an all-star cast of Hanna-Barbara’s legendary line up of animated stars anchored by the Flintstones and the Rubbles. Between were Yogi and Boo-Boo, Snooper and Blabber, Quickdraw, Huckleberry Hound, Top Cat, Augie Doggie and son, the Jetsons and pretty much every other character in their bullpen was dusted off for this 48-page holiday hit parade.

Mystery Inc., sans Shaggy, is even featured on the inside back cover with a Christmas tree ball code breaker.

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Fantastic Four 240

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Not really a Christmas issue beyond the opening pages showing Ben Grimm attempting to hide presents for his nephew Franklin.

An argument could be made that the story does involve miracles such as the Inhumans launching Attailan to the moon where they take up residence and Quicksliver and Crystal’s child being born a human as their mutant and Attailan blood cancel the other out.

But, those are normal events in the Marvel Universe.

Fantastic Four 240

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Moon Knight Silent Knight

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For a character without a huge fan base, Moon Knight gets a lotta love including this 2007 Christmas special.

Long debated as to whether Marc Spectre is Marvel’s answer to Bruce Wayne, Moon Knight finally gets his own holiday treatment with a one-shot dashed off by Peter Milligan. The story is a vague leaving readers to interpret their own ending.

Moon Knight Silent Knight

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Zombie Tramp Saves XXX-Mas

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Unless ordering a variant cover, the title is about as titillating as the book gets.

Like most zombie related items it’s the guilty pleasure of sex and carnage that are the hook. In this day and age of free internet porn, this is the equivalent of your standard b-grade zombie flick found on the lower racks of any video store (do they still have those?).

So, other than the name, this comic book doesn’t have to be hidden under the bed. Just some good-girl art, innuendo and irreverence.

Zombie Tramp Saves XXX-Mas

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Starman (1994) 27

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Jack Knight, son of original Starman Ted Knight inherited the mantle for the 1990s run of the critically acclaimed James Robinson incarnation.

Stepping away from his normal chores as adventurer and JSA member, Knight lends the holidays a helping hand when he befriends a skid row Santa while attempting to make the annual Christmas dinner with friends and family.

A lotta baggage for non-readers of the title.

Starman (1994) 27

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