Monday, December 25, 2017

DCUniverse Holiday Special 2010

DCUniverse Holiday Special 2010 (February 2011)
title: "Holiday"
writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
artists: Chris Batista & Rich Perrotta
letterer: Travis Lanham
colorist: Hi-Fi
asst. editor: Rachel Gluckstern
editor: Mike Carlin
cover: Matt Haley (?) 
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board: 
Cosmic Boy, Wildfire, Dawnstar, Polar Boy, Shadow Lass, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Lighting Lass, Element Lad, Brainiac 5; Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Mon-El, Sun Boy, Invisible Kid, Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl, Timber Wolf, Gates

fatigue, holiday envy

In the 31st Century, throughout the United Planets, all cultural, ethnic, and seasonal festivals have been combined into one day, dubbed "Holiday." So everyone in the UP has the day off.

Unfortunately, an urgent Science Police control summons Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, and Wildfire to the Metropolis Space Elevator to fight a potential terrorist attack. They find nothing more than some work buddies enjoying "Holiday."

At the same time, there is a warning of a kill-bot running rampant on Mars, and an alien attack at the Old Metropolis Stargate Junction. Legion teams are dispatched to investigate, but find nothing out of the ordinary. Every member grouses that being on duty is a bummer because they are missing "Holiday." Several discuss the different ways and things they would be doing if they were not working.

Brainiac 5 realizes that the common denominator is the SP Control, so he and the others go to SP HQ to investigate. Brainy finds that the A.I. running the master computer is a "cloud of nano-mist particles" which is causing it to produce gibberish assignments. Brainiac 5 decides to reboot it.

This solves the problem, as it basically gives the computer program a "holiday" of its own for one whole second.

Other Legionnaires arrive because the SP Control computer called them in. The Legion will spend "Holiday" together after all.

I saw this comic at my LCBS when it first came out and I bought it because I saw John Stewart and Phantom Girl were on the cover. Then I promptly forgot about it until just recently, when I was re-organizing my comics and came across it.

Let's start with the art. Chris Batista draws good-looking Legionnaires, no doubt about it. I could look at his stuff all day. I had no trouble figuring out who was who, even with tweaks or twists to the various "classic" uniforms. The action flowed well and the story was very readable.

As for the plot, though....I liked the idea that the adventure occurred on a holiday. Just as the military, police officers, and other emergency responders must work on real-life holidays, I liked reading about how the Legionnaires were not excited to be on monitory duty on a world-wide day off. However....I had to read this story twice to figure out that "Holiday" is actually a United Planets day-off for EVERY UP WORLD. As soon as I figured out that Shadow Lass was talking about the same "Holiday" on Talok VIII as Lightning Lass was talking about missing on Winath, it took me right out of the story.

Think about it for a second. Can you imagine a holiday that is celebrated all over the world, regardless of geography, culture, or nationality? The only one I can think of is New Year's Eve/Day. But has "Holiday" actually REPLACED New Year's Eve as the only officially sanctioned UP holiday? That doesn't make sense! And you can probably imagine where I'm going with my argument here....I can't possibly imagine that the UP members would give up their individual holidays!

So the whole plot of this story didn't really work for me. One blurb explaining that "all cultural, ethnic, and seasonal festivals" have been combined into one holiday, and we're just supposed to go along with that?  I would have enjoyed a little bit more of a throw-away explanation, maybe that "Holiday" is the consolidated holiday for each world, but it's celebrated at different times? Or maybe it's taking the place of cultural, ethnic, and seasonal festivals like Guy Fawkes' Day and US Thanksgiving and Japanese Respect For the Aged Day, but how would that even work? And then I would think there would be one "Holiday" every month or every quarter, just like there sort of is now all over Earth....? 

Not to mention that this story goes against what has already been established in Legion mythos, namely that Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated on Earth in the 31st Century.

I guess my point is, when you try to be "hip" and create "futuristic" tropes, maybe it's better to be simple. This story would have read better if it had been set on, say.....New Year's Eve? No muss no fuss. 

Other than that the story was good. The characterization of the members seemed spot on. I especially liked reading how Lightning Lass was missing her family on Winath, and how Cosmic Boy doesn't really want or need a vacation. Both those bits seemed true to their characters. And while I was pleasantly surprised to read that Dawnstar has come to consider the Legion as her family, I would have liked some more hugs and smiles with the new arrivals at the end.

And for anyone who has worked in a large company with an IT section, the solution of "rebooting" was dryly comical.

Science Police Notes:  
  • Phantom Girl is drawn on the cover but does not actually appear in action in the story.  
  • Mon-El clearly appears in the group of late arrivals, but is not given a name tag. Is this perhaps due to DC editorial not knowing what to call him? 
This story has never been reprinted. So as our Legion of Super-Bloggers Christmas & Hanukkah present to you, we reprint it here in its entirety!
Happy Christmas, or should we say....Happy Holiday!


  1. Thanks for posting the whole story, I can't believe I missed it on the racks.

    P.S: A bit off-topic Pet Peeve ~ any attempt to "improve" the design of Wildfire's energy suit. Cockrum's was the best, period. I enjoyed the occasional alterations to the boots/gloves/chest-star, but any major revamp is a a mistake, IMHO. The suit doesn't need transparent parts.

    Merry Christmas all, and thanks to all the writers for your hard work each day!

  2. Let me quibble with you in one tiny detail: the only time an alteration to Wildfire's containment suit worked was when the faceplate was changed from a globe to a flat plate.

    The globe never really worked for me, but the flat plate just sizzled.

    1. Oh I agree. I never really considered the original helmet a bubble. The flat plate is definitely part of Drake's iconic look.

  3. DnA always had the right idea to make Shady's shadows be somewhat tangible.

  4. If you're going to do a Legion story about a holiday, why not make it Klordny?

    1. I would absolutely buy that. I've always wondered what Klordny is/was.

  5. Ehh, this story was kind of bland for me. The entire 2010 Holiday special, and the Halloween one, were disappointing compared to the previous three ones.

    1. I totally agree with you, although any appearance by the Legion or Aquaman in any of these holiday specials is a definite purchase for me regardless of the quality (which is usually pretty bad, haha!)