Archive for the ‘Chanukah’ Category

Posted Sunday, May 19th, 2019 by Barry

The Tick New Series (2009) 7

“Star of Blunder, Star of Might!” closed out 2010 in true Tick holiday fashion.

The Tick has lost his Christmas spirit. Even eight days of Hanukkah isn’t enough to dampen the depression. Not until a beacon shines the way. The Tick and Arthur undertake a pilgrimage – along with the Man-Eating Cow – to seek out the meaning of the season.

For the Tick that’s a bit skewed. As is the story.

The Tick New Series (2009) 7

The Tick New Series (2009) 7

Benitio Cereno III takes as many jabs at the holiday season as he does the comic book field. The Tick was originally created by Ben Edlund. Like other indy comic books of the time, The Tick was – and is – a parody of the super hero genre. In his original run the Tick even worked at a newspaper office with a Clark Kent clone. Fellow heroes included Die Fledermaus, a shameless Batman knock off; American Maid, similar to Wonder Woman in many ways and Fish Boy, an obvious take on Aquaman.

The Tick’s rogue’s gallery could be compared to Dick Tracy’s with villains like Chairface Chippendale, The Forehead and The Terror.

He received his own comic book series in 1988. The initial run ran a mere 12 issues. Since then he has been in several incarnations.

By 1994 the Tick’s popularity was enough Fox picked up the character for an animated series. It ran three seasons, 1994-96, on the Fox network’s Fox kids block. Since then the series has been syndicated to other networks as well as released on VHS and DVD.

A live-action series aired in both 2001 and 2016.

Posted Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 by Barry

Scooby-Doo Where are You? (2010) 28

Chanukah and Christmas are given equal billing with “Fright One Candle” and “It’s a Wonderful Fright.”

The “ghost” of Antiochus, emperor of the Syrian Greeks, attempts to spoil Chanukah by stealing the oil and candles from the synagogue. Velma’s sharp eyes notice a clue that leads to recovery of the missing items. The deception is not a hate crime, but a lesson to teach the children of the Jewish holiday.

Chanukah celebrates the Maccabees’ victory over the invading Syrian army and the miracle of the menorah burning for eight days.

“It’s a Wonderful Fright” was originally published in Scooby-Doo 115. Shaggy reprises George Bailey’s fictional life in the Phillip Van Doren Stern short story. Shaggy bumps his head and dreams away Mystery Inc. Every cliché comes to life during the dream sequence along with a series of poltergeists from the past.

Scooby-Doo Where are You? (2010) 28

Posted Monday, December 3rd, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special 1996

Marvel Holiday Special 1996

Marvel Holiday Special 1996

Not since Amazing Spider-Man 192 has there been as entertaining a face-off between J. Jonah Jameson and Spidey. “Not a Creature Was Stirring” is refreshing, fun and Mark Waid at his story-telling best teasing the title characters and readers.

Jonah’s greed backfires while attempting to publicize his philanthropy. The end result has JJJ and Spidey pinned beneath warehouse roof rubble as snow mounds about their fast freezing bodies. Nothing ever ends well for the Bugle publisher and this story is no exception. Jonah’s pride falls victim after deciding to do what’s right.

“Unto Others” focuses on Kitty Pryde, her Jewish heritage and mutant birth rite. Hatred and ignorance form a common bond between Kitty and a young girl who only wishes to see her father’s face again. The history of Hanukah is tossed in for good measure.

Silver Surfer stars in “Hark! The Herald!” Galactus’ former minion faces a paradox only faith can solve.

“Ambush at Angle Rock” shakes the trail dust off the Rawhide Kid character for a western holiday and the only weak spot in the special.

Wolverine rounds out the book with “Humbug.” A walk around town and head full of thoughts brings little comfort to Logan at this time of year – though he wishes the spirit could touch him.

Posted Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 by Jeff

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah

Posted Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 by Barry

World’s Greatest Super-Heroes Holiday Special

Wal-Mart and DC have coupled again to produce the super-store exclusive World’s Greatest Super-Heroes Holiday Special 100-page Comic Giant.

World’s Greatest Super-Heroes Holiday Special

World’s Greatest Super-Heroes Holiday Special

As with its October counterpart, this volume kicks off the holiday season with an original story, this time featuring The Flash. Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth provide a 12-page tale told in fast fashion featuring a multitude of the Sultan of Speed’s rogue’s gallery. “Twas the Riot Before Christmas” allows the reader to ease into the book and mood.

“Metropolis Mailbag” is a re-telling from Superman (1987) issue 64. The story has all the trappings of a hackneyed holiday story, but Dan Jurgens gives readers some Christmas magic by making it work – on all levels.

“All I Want for Christmas” is pulled from the DCU Infinite Holiday special (2007). Supergirl learns Christmas spirit sometimes just means forgiveness.

“Good Boy” is the second of the real gems in this volume. Originally written and published in Batman (2016) annual one, Alfred proves even the world’s greatest detective can sometimes be blind.

Hanukah is represented in “Light in the Dark.” Batwoman finds traditions are what we make them. With a little help with from friends. This was first published in the DC Rebirth Holiday Special.

Still a marquee name, Harley Quinn’s 2015 Christmas special was ransacked for “Killin’ Time,” a New Year’s Eve nod.

Finally, “The Epiphany” showcases the Green Lantern Corps.

For all Wal-Mart’s faults, at least the company knows how to usher in a Merry Christmas. Even if they aren’t allowed to say it.

Posted Monday, April 16th, 2018 by Barry

DC Universe Holiday Bash II (1997)

DC Universe Holiday Bash II (1997)

DC Universe Holiday Bash II (1997)

This sappy sampling from the DC stable is a cross section of the season. Included are stories of Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa. Writer Dick Grayson shoehorns in some Buddhism as well amidst the other celebrations and commercialism.

“The Present” showcases the – then – new team of Green Lantern and Green Arrow. Last minute shoppers are taken hostage by a young man confusing tender caring with legal tender.

Batman is the silent guardian of hope in “The House of Peace,” though a young boy saves faith.

Ty Templeton handles creative chores in “Present Tense.” Santa lays siege to Darkseid’s domain to conduct Christmas business.

Black Lightening handles a gang’s blood feud in “Twas the Night Before Kwanzaa.”

Santa isn’t the only one watching who knows what recipients really need. Superman receives an early and much needed present in “The Gift.”

“I Left My Heart at the Justice Society Canteen” is Howard Chaykin’s love letter to Golden Age comic book creators.

Sgt. Rock is visited by the ghosts of wars past, present and future in “A Christmas Carol.” The vision is as shocking as it is undeniable.

The New Year nears with Nightwing and Oracle. “The Old Lane” is a touching tale of youth past and problems present.

Finally, Rich Burchett offers an ornaments page reminiscent of the original Christmas With the Superheroes Limited Collectors editions of 25 years earlier.

Posted Friday, April 6th, 2018 by Barry

DC Universe Holiday Bash (1996) 1

DC Universe Holiday Bash (1996) 1

DC Universe Holiday Bash (1996) 1

This is the first of three Christmas specials leading to the new millennium. Readers are treated to seven stories featuring Superman, the New Gods, Catwoman, Etrigan the Demon, Green Lantern, the Flash and Batman.

In the first tale Lois Lane retells a story from Superman’s early days. “The Benefaction of Peace” proves loneliness was a problem for even the mightiest of Earth’s heroes.

In “A Highfather Christmas,” the Highfather and Orion embody the commercialism of the holidays with the spirit of the season. They rendezvous with chance and circumstance for a memorable Christmas Eve.

Catwoman shows her softer side in “Bearing Gifts We Traverse Afar.”

Ertigan has a laugh when one man’s greed is spoiled by the wishes of a child in “Santa’s Little Helper.”

Ignorance doesn’t take a holiday as “The Vessel” proves. Green Lantern learns the lesson of Hanukah by showing a little faith.

Wally West speeds around the world in search of the perfect gift. When his thoughts catch up to him, a voice from the past reminds him to listen more closely in “Present Tense.”

Finally, Batman proves to Alfred Christmas Eve isn’t just “One More Night.”

Posted Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 by Barry

Flash Gordon Holiday Special (2014)

Having inspired the Star Wars universe, Flash Gordon took to the space ways for the 2014 holidays to inspire Christmas on the planet Arboria in the first of three short stories.

Flash tells of the traditional trappings celebrated on Earth while the natives contrast with those of Arboria’s Khris-Mass. Myth and nature meet to create a memorable merging of both holidays as Arboria’s youth tout the feats of Jungle Jim, possibly an amalgam of Santa and Tarzan?

Stories return to Earth with Juhrg the Beast-Man finding salvation from his solitude in Wonders and Salvations. Practitioners of the Jewish faith find they are still persecuted in the future, but a child leads his family from the darkness of ignorance.

Finally, Dale Arden revisits previous New Year’s eves before her excursion to space learning from the past to help the present in Resolutions.

 

Posted Thursday, February 8th, 2018 by Barry

DCU Holiday Special (2010)

DC offered a varied selection of characters and situations for the 2010 Christmas special.

DCU Holiday Special (2010)

DCU Holiday Special (2010)

Featured characters include Anthro, Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Superman, The Spectre and Legion of Super Heroes.

The stories stem from tolerance of holiday celebrations outside the standard Anglo-American, Judeo-Christian beliefs.

As a whole, the tales seem born as much from the transition DC was preparing for with Flashpoint that led to the New 52, while America was transitioning with a president still finding his footing.

The issue’s tagline read, “Six tales spanning, space, time and today’s top talent.” A little overreaching, but a worthwhile effort for $4.99. There have been better and there were worse.

Posted Sunday, December 24th, 2017 by Jeff

Covering All The Bases

Artwork by Michael Cho.

Happy Everything