kingrockwell: he's a sexy (Default)
[personal profile] kingrockwell posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Our holiday series continues with a look at the magical side of the DCU.

We kick off with an X-mas party at the House of Mystery, written by Bob Rozakis, with art by Romeo Tanghal and Dan Adkins, from DC Special Series #21 (1980). About two and two thirds pages out of eight.

Cain and Abel have invited the Weird Sisters and Destiny to celebrate the holidays over in the House of Mystery. The group has gotten bored as they wait for another absent guest (no, his name isn't Godot!) and the tempers are growing short.

The sisters tell the tale of a family who's yacht was struck by a reef and sunk. They float along hopelessly on a raft seeking shore when they see the shine from a lighthouse. Following it to safety, they're met with a surprise.

Cain is unimpressed. Shoving an eager Abel out of the way, he weaves the story of a stingy pawnbroker who's bled the town around him dry, haggling precious gems and such at rock-bottom prices only to resell them at twice the cost. One day, he gets a customer who offers him the largest diamond in the world in trade for everything in his shop. The pawnbroker greedily takes the trade, only to have the diamond turn to coal once it's a done deal.
He gets a surprise when he sees his client leave to return his loot to its former owners.

The two start fighting, but Destiny breaks them up so he can tell his own story, which will clearly be the best. He tells of a reckless rocket plane pilot who hated the Christmas star and wanted to catch it (surely it is a UFO of some sort, after all!), but as he chased it down, his rocket plane couldn't handle the speeds. As he neared the star, nearly exceeding the speed of light, things didn't look good for him.

One title drop too many, everyone has just about had it with each other and they all start to fight. Cue the special guest appearances by Godot!

Over in Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2 (1989) is our next story, "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot", written by Alan Brennert and with art by Dick Giordano. About three and a quarter pages from ten.

Someone's got the holiday blues!

And it's Deadman. He resorts to doing a little body-hopping until he stumbles upon a fellow headed for an X-mas party. Boston gets a little caught up in the festivity and fellowship of the whole deal before he realizes just how empty and skeevy it is to enjoy another man's X-mas.

He curses Rama about his isolation when a pretty blonde Kry-- woman approaches and acknowledges him. Boston is shocked that she can even see him but the Supergirl isn't exactly forthcoming in the explanations department.

She asks him if it's glory he's after.

Never existed? Are we still talking about Boston, or someone else? Someone very close by?

The last panel says, "With respect and admiration to the works of Otto Binder and Jim Mooney -- We still remember."

One last story for tonight, from the Infinite Holiday Special (2006), "Christmas Spirits" written by Bill Willingham and with art by Cory Walker. About three and a third pages from ten.

Blue Devil is hanging around in the Oblivion Bar when he comes across a familiar friend.

After the team is gathered, Santa tells them the sad story of how the Anti-Christmas League are trying to ruin him. While he's spouting out crazy ways they could protect him, Nightmaster calms him down and tells him they have a simpler plan.

After reassuring him further, they send Santa on his way.

Oh Chimp, you scamp!

Tomorrow: I'll, uh, think of something. Might include a story during Bart's stint as the Flash!

Date: 2009-12-23 08:59 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zordboy
That last story now makes me want to go out and track down the Infinite Holiday Special. Between Phantom Stranger in a Santa-hat, or Blitzen crank-calling Santa, oh man, that's awesome ^_^.

Date: 2009-12-23 10:16 am (UTC)
ninjapeps: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ninjapeps
ah, dammit. I was just about to post that Shadowpact bit.


Date: 2009-12-23 10:37 am (UTC)
leikomgwtfbbq: (*fangirls*)
From: [personal profile] leikomgwtfbbq
Hooray! Phantom Santa Stranger! *fangirly squee* ♥

Although this makes me think of P.S. substituting for Santa. Instead of presents, each person on the planet would get their own specialized Cryptic Speech--maybe a fortune, maybe a warning, maybe a cleverly-disguised compliment about how much he likes what you've done with the interior design.

And if you've been naughty, then he'll either do his Face-Melting Trick or punch you in the face while delivering some Rod-Serling-on-acid telling-off.

Date: 2009-12-23 11:35 am (UTC)
iskander: (Default)
From: [personal profile] iskander
Great post. We need to see more house secrets here. Does anyone have the Brave and the bold with batman/house of secrets ????

Date: 2009-12-23 11:59 am (UTC)
salamangkiero: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salamangkiero
Dammit, that Supergirl bit made me cry!

Date: 2009-12-23 03:24 pm (UTC)
robogeek: (RoboGeek)
From: [personal profile] robogeek
Alan Brennert does that.

As I recall, this is the story that got Mark Waid fired as a DC editor. But the story is so good, I can see why he let it be published.

Date: 2009-12-23 04:14 pm (UTC)
iskander: (Default)
From: [personal profile] iskander
I have only read it once. I thought it was one of the strangest/cool Batman stories ever.

Date: 2009-12-23 05:23 pm (UTC)
bluejaybirdie: stylized Robin!Steph (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluejaybirdie
Wait, Deadman's face is a mask? I never knew that, I just thought it was a result of him being dead O.o

That last story is awesome. The reveal at the ending just cracked me up. The art is absolutley gorgeous too.

Date: 2009-12-23 05:34 pm (UTC)
mullon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mullon
It's odd seeing Cain & Abel, Destiny, and the Weird Sisters getting along so well.

Date: 2009-12-23 06:08 pm (UTC)
mcbangle: (Wondy)
From: [personal profile] mcbangle
Man that last story was fun. OK, ya'll have convinced me to seek out a copy of the Infinite Holiday Special.

The "House of Mystery" one was fun, too, even if the snippets we saw of their stories weren't as creepy/scary as their usual stories

Date: 2009-12-24 05:11 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
But wonderful to think of Destiny letting his hair down in the Dreaming..:)

Date: 2009-12-24 05:15 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
Not related to the above, but I've been looking for the Marvel comics Christmas comic book that has an Ann Nocenti story about Daredevil taking a stuffed lamb to an orphanage. I've never been able to find what book it is.

Date: 2009-12-25 12:50 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
I love you!

Date: 2009-12-25 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Wait - they fired him? Why'd they fire him? That was a nice story!

Date: 2009-12-25 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Yeah, and his name dates back to his pre-ghost days as well. The idea is that his stage name as a circus performer was 'Deadman' because he always worked without a net, and he wore the spooky mask and costume to play up the 'dead man walking' (or swinging, rather) aspect.

Date: 2009-12-25 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Good stuff. The Deadman/Supergirl one is always nice, and it's interesting seeing all those 'spooky narrator' characters before Neil Gaiman got his hands on them. (While I'd heard that Cain and Abel and the Weird Sisters predated Gaiman, I wasn't aware that Destiny did. I'd always thought that he was an original character created for 'Sandman'.)
Incidentally, just how often does Shadowpact show up in comics? I've heard of them, since Ragman is amongst their members and I'm a fan of his, but this is the first I've actually read of them. Do they have prolific appearances that I just haven't heard of, or do they show up fairly rarely?

Date: 2009-12-25 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Ah, OK.

Date: 2009-12-25 10:05 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Really? Wow. And here I thought they were all his.

Date: 2009-12-25 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
So really, 'Sandman' is not so much a startlingly original work as a work that makes very clever use of otherwise forgotten characters and concepts.


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