Grim_Noir Attends a Holiday Party With the DC Rebirth Heroes


Title: DC Rebirth Holiday Special

Story and Art: (various writers and artists)

Editors: Paul Kaminski, Eddie Berganza and Andrew Marino

Letterers: Carlos M. Mangual and Josh Reed

Publisher: DC Comics

Reviewed by Grim_Noir

Traditionally, reviewing comic book anthologies is considered career suicide. There is just too much ground to cover: Too many creators, too many plots and too many characters. Reviewers end up spending too much time explaining what they did and didn’t like, but all the reader of the review wants to know is if its worth their time and money. In most cases, it isn’t. The stories in these books are usually shallow and standalone; far away from the main continuity. However, DC did such a good job making Legends of Tomorrow and their New Talent Showcase relevant, I felt I HAD to check out their DC Rebirth Holiday Special.

The first thing that set my danger-sense off was the tag “Rebirth” in the title of the book. I needn’t have worried, though. This is a worthy addition to DC’s repairing and rebuilding of its universe. Legacy, tradition and relationships between parents and children are common threads uniting this volume. Batwoman fondly remembers her Hanukkah traditions with her father, Jessica and Simon become better Green Lanterns and partners while sharing a Rosca de Reyes, and the Super-Sons gain a better understanding of each other in a way that feels like a natural prequel to their upcoming spinoff title.


While we don’t get a Kwanzaa tale, this …Holiday Special does manage to cover a range of “Holiday” diversity: In addition to Hanukkah and Christmas, we visit New Years celebrations, China’s Dongzhi, Epiphany cakes, and a Wiccan Winter Solstice. Even better, the writers and artists manage to instill snarky fun into Rankin/Bass-level feels into all these tales. The interaction between The Flash and Snart, for example, was naturally and genuinely touching.

Best of all, the editorial staff of the DC Rebirth Holiday Special took the word “Special” seriously. The love and raw enthusiasm of the storytellers bleed through on every page. They have challenged themselves with fresh settings and unique pairings of heroes. The teaming of John Constantine and Wonder Woman on a hunt for Dionysus makes perfect sense, but who has ever thought of it before? And I would pay good money for a monthly Batman and Detective Chimp team-up comic!


And anyone who loved the “Harleyday Knights” episode of Batman The Animated Series is going to love the Paul Dini-penned Harley Quinn interstitials. They are laugh-out-loud funny. Like the best passages in a Fletch novel, they make you want to grab someone and ask them to read it.

For the most part, the artwork is fantastic; much more than you would expect from a one-shot. Gustavo Duarte’s stylized art in the aforementioned Batman and Detective Chimp story is a true standout among a book of genius. It would take too long to list all the phenomenal pencillers, inkers and colorists. The only art I didn’t care for was in the Batwoman short. The story was good, but Paolo Pantalena’s artwork felt like it came from the “Musculature-What’s-Musculature?” school of Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood days.


To be honest, however, the biggest deterrent to grabbing the DC Rebirth Holiday Special off the shelf immediately will be the price tag. This is a 90-page floppy, but the ten dollar cost could seem excessive, even with the thicker page stock and glossy cardboard cover. But if you want to buy yourself a couple hours of fun while you’re out Holiday shopping, this is the book to keep you warm in the dead of Winter.

…and I did mention Batman with Detective Chimp, right…?




* GRIM_NOIR is convinced that the internet is a figment of his imagination. Please comment below and/or follow @Grim_Noir on Twitter or Friend on Good Reads or Facebook to end his self-delusions.

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