In my quest to experience as much Christmas as possible, I picked up a couple of holiday-looking issues during a sale at my local comic shop. The Larfleeze Special I got when it came out last year. These are all really fun issues. Happy Holidays and Merry Reading!
Writer: Mark Waid, Pencils: Cliff Rathburn, Inks: Paul Neary, Colors: David Baron
“Twas the Fight Before Christmas!”
This is an incredibly silly little one-shot story, in which Plastic Man tries to convince a kid that Santa is on the Justice League. His explanation of how this came to be involves Neron, demon elves, evil gingerbread men, and Santa's surprise super-powers. The kid often knows more about the League than Plastic Man, and corrects the hero, like any good comic nerd. It's extremely zany, and I definitely enjoyed it.
Wow! I definitely got my money's worth with this issue. This is a thick compilation of seven different short holiday pieces, with different characters (and different writer/artist teams) on each one. The only one that didn't really work for me at all was 'Trials of Shazam in “Gift of the Magi”' by Bedard and Marz. I just didn't know the characters or the situation enough to follow. The rest of the issue is fantastic, and that one might be good, I just didn't get it.
The Shadowpact piece by Bill Willingham (of Fables fame) was pretty spectacular, and very funny. Joe Kelly wrote a Supergirl piece that was surprisingly moving in spots. Greg Rucka's Hannukah-themed Batwoman piece was quite well done. I didn't understand all the context necessary for the Flash piece, but I really liked what I did understand.
The last short piece was completely hilarious. Kelly Puckett brings a off-the-walls-surreal Superman/Batman ElseWorlds tale straight out of the Silver Age. It packs an excellent punchline.
Writer: Geoff Johns, Artist: Brett Booth, Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
I like this issue. It's extremely silly and extremely sweet, all at the same time. Plus it includes activities! A maze! A recipe for Christmas Cookies! Ha! The main premise is simple: Larfleeze (Orange Lantern of Avarice) heard that there's a fat man who gives away presents! Larfleeze is not the brightest star in the sky, but he's determined to get in on what sounds like a good deal. It's an extremely adorable and funny piece.