Written and Art by Various
Published by DC Comics
This is one of those holiday books that DC seems to get out at least once year. These books are usually a mixed bag with some stories being better than others. This year’s holiday book was more of the same. There are a couple of cool stories here and a few clunkers. This one shot focused on the different villains of the DC Universe. The bad stories were truly bad in this. That being said, the good stories are really quite excellent.
We will start off with a good one. This one is worth buying the book for all by itself. It is a Joker story by Gabriel Hardman and Corrina Bechko. Gotham Square has an attack on New Years Eve by a poisonous gas. People are smiling like it is the famous Joker Gas. It is a pretty cut and dried case it seems.
Except maybe it isn’t. We cut over to the Joker committing a crime. He hears about the attack in Gotham Square and goes nuts. Apparently, a guy named Andy is responsible. The Joker then tracks down Andy to kill him.
The ending has quite a twist that is quite satisfying. It is a great little tale with some excellent art.
The next story featuring the Toyman is really kind of cool, too. It is written by Kenny Porter and illustrated by Ramon Villalobos. This has the Toyman going against Superman. Porter actually gives the Toyman a personality and it does have a really great emotional moment at the end. I really liked this one as well.
Next up is a Sinestro story by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Sumit Kumar. This has Sinestro out in space after having a conversation with Lex Luthor. Sinestro hears an explosion on a nearby planet and he goes to investigate. He meets the people there and he must assist them. This has a nice ending and it does have a good little twist that I liked.
Up next was a painfully dull Poison Ivy story by Jim Krieg and Aneke. This one was so boring and obvious I flipped through it quickly. It was just stale.
The next story starring Ares was much, much better. This one is written by Dan Watters with art by Alessandro Vitti. It shows Ares facing off against Wonder Woman. It is a psychological and exciting story. The imagery is especially good in this story.
The Black Adam story that follows by Ram V and Anthony Spay made me wretch. It was just boring and tried too hard.
There is a Calendar Man story by Christos Gage and Karl Mostert that I was hoping would be better than it is. It just was boring and trite as well.
The Chronos story by Dave Wielgoez and Cian Tormey was painful too and I could barely get through it.
There is a Harley Quinn story that is slightly better than these which ends the book. This one is by Vita Ayala and Elena Casagrande. It is decent but could still be better.
The best story near the end is about The Prankster. It is by Kurt Busiek and Dale Eaglesham. It is the second best story of the book. It is the first time I have seen a good story about the Prankster. Busiek makes him a well rounded character and that is a good thing. It even has a pie in the face to end the story!
So, at the end of the day, there are some decent stories in this book. You do have to wade through some of the weaker stories to get to them. But there have been better specials in the past.
Still, the good stories are really good and make it worthwhile.