Holiday Special #2- Batman Saves And Creates Christmas?
Batman: The Brave and The Bold #12
Batman: The Brave and The Bold #12
Writer: Landry Q. Walker
Artist: Eric Jones
Letterer: Rob Clark Jr.
Colorist: Heroic Age
Batman: Brave and Bold? In this Economy?
First off, Batman: The Brave and The Bold was a delightful show. It was a different take on Batman that was welcomed after years of serious take. It isn’t that Batman himself is silly. Batman is very much the straight man and most of the characters are played straight (Aquaman and Plastic Man, aside).
While the characters are serious (to an extent) they are placed in very silver age stories which focus less on Batman’s detective side and more on the super heroic side. While I do prefer detective Batman stories, superhero action is fine especially when it is kinetic and absurd as The Brave and The Bold. Now, does the TV show translate to the comic? Yes and no. Okay the comic is pretty much the TV show in tone and direction.
The writer Larry Q. Walker nails the feel of the show. Its quick and witty. There is a modern Silver-age touch to the overall story that I love and I think best describes Batman: The Brave and The Bold. The artist Eric Jones stays on model and does a great job with the figure work. The pacing of the comic is sharp and matches the speed of the show. Nothing drags too long and everything is resolved within the issue. The only thing missing from the comic is Diedrich Bader’s amazing delivery and that is the only true downside here. I do read the comic in his voice, but it just isn’t the same.
Now, what’s this issue about? Christmas, kinda. Well in typical The Brave and The Bold fashion, we see Batman carrying out another adventure in a cold open of sorts. This case he is stopping the Calendar Man from ruining Christmas. During his mission to stop Calendar Man, Batman is transported Via Zeta Beam to Rann, the world of Adam Strange.
This is where we get the main plot titled “Final Christmas” which is a nice call back to Final Crisis as the story features an Anti-matter wave wiping out the universe. Earth, Thanagar, and other worlds have already fallen but Rann is momentarily spared thanks to the Zeta particles.
Batman teams up with Adam and Alana Strange to take down the shadow monsters of the Antimatter Universe. There Batman learns of the fate of the universe and Earth itself. The wonderful monologues describe Batman’s thoughts on the matter as he carries on the fight that features ray guns and broad swords. The use of narration box does adapt the show, but I feel it deviates from the Silver-Age aspect
As the heroes’ transport is damaged during the fight, Batman takes it upon himself and his bat jet pack (The silver-age is laid on thick here folks) to fly the sleigh like transport to Psion Base to confront the villain behind this antimatter wave. The do enter the villain’s lair using the chimney. The ways this comic takes something very un-Christmas and adds subtle Christmas elements is something I do love dearly.
As Batman and Adam confront the Psion behind the Antimatter wave, they learn of his plot: To digitize the inhabits of the world’s hit by the waves and delete them. This would allow for the Psion’s to colonize the worlds. Batman takes care of the Psion like only he can— with a swift punch to the face. Batman and Alana deduce that they can reverse the wave and revive everyone, but only after manually realigning the control orbs. Unfortunately, the orbs are located in the Anti-matter beam powering the wave. With Batman and Adam covered in Zeta radiation and protected from the Anti-matter, they are the only ones that can enter the beam and save the world.
Things go wild in the beam. As Batman and Adam’s protection falters, they begin to deform. Batman shrinks and becomes more elfin in appearance. Adam gains weight and grows a long, white beard. All of this while they try to rearrange the red and green control orbs. Even the narration brings attention to the festive appearance of the moment by basically stating Batman and Adam created the cultural subconscious appreciation for Santa as reality is rebuilt from the ground up. Batman says it best: “Did we just create Christmas?”
Shortly after saving the universe, the Zeta beam wears off and Batman is transported back to Earth. Just in time to punch-out Calendar Man.
This comic takes a different approach to being a holiday comic. Instead of using overtly Christmas imagery, the creative team opts for more subtle nods with moments including the sleigh, chimney, and the invention of secular Christmas. It doesn’t necessarily go for emotional moments of Christmas or the holidays that a lot of comics of this nature wants to go for. Instead, it provides an action comic that fits within the direction of the cartoon and comic series while maintaining a festive tone at moments.
It is fun and delightful to read. I remember picking up the first issue of the series and it carries the same tone of this issue. Batman: The Brave and The Bold continues a strong tradition of animated adaption comics being good and this Christmas issue is well worth a reading.
So, we have had both style of Batman stories so far today on Extremely Uncanny. Next, we will look at a bizarre short from Batman #219, a non-holiday comic but was published in December. As such they ran a Christmas themed back-up story for the occasion.
Continue to the next page for the overview of this bizarre special.