Christmas With Batman (1989)
Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2 (Batman)
“Land in the Depths”
Story – Dave Gibbons
Art/Colors – Gray Morrow
Letters – John Costanza
Editor – Mark Waid
Ya know, it’s been a heckuva long time since we had the opportunity to discuss Batman here at the humble blog. It’s a
Vartox Week Christmas on Infinite Earths… in July Miracle! It’s kind of weird to have a DC Comics blog… and almost never talk about arguably the most popular DC Comics character!
If only he had more of a presence in Action Comics Weekly! Actually, if that were the case, more people would probably care about ACW in the first place!
We open with young Bruce Wayne exploring the caves under the Manor. He’s chasing a rabbit, and trips over some rocks. By the time he sits up, a bat has swooped down and killed the bunny. Ya see, what we’re trying to get at is… this is “dark”. It’s darkness… enveloping, encompassing… dark, dark, darkity-dark. This darkness followed Master Bruce into his adulthood… following the murder of his parents, and his adopting of his cape-n-cowl persona.
But then… light. A young boy entered his life, and with him came hope and warmth. We learn here that Dick Grayson received his first Robin costume as… a Christmas present. Ah, I was wondering if and when Christmas would show up during this Christmas story.
So for a time, the Vengeance of the Dark Knight was replaced by the Adventures of the Dynamic Duo. The darkness was lifted.
This all ended, however, when Dick Grayson went off to college… and, adopted his new grown-up hero identity. His old Robin costume is displayed in the Bat Cave as a reminder of the “light”, however, it didn’t stop the darkness from creeping back in.
A couple pages follow illustrating more of the “darkness” before we wrap up with a literal robin landing in the cave… and nearly getting “swooped down upon” by a bat. For whatever reason, the bat decides to spare the birdie… and it flies out of the cave into the night.
Well, this was kinda neat. A wee bit precious to be sure, but neat all the same. A nice look at the Bruce/Dick relationship… and how their perspectives contrast with/compliment one another.
It’s written almost like a poem… which, I mean, is fine… but, maybe just a little over reliant on “darkness”. As a theme, it works… however, in actually reading through, it becomes a bit tiresome. It almost reminds me of something I’d have written back in a high school creative writing class.
We don’t get all that much in the way of Christmas here… other than the revelation that Dick got a Robin costume as a Christmas Gift. I suppose it works… but, I dunno… I kind of wanted a little bit more in the way of Holly-Jolly.
The art comes to us from Gray Morrow, who is always a treat. I have no complaints about how this story looks. I don’t even really have any quibbles about the story itself. It’s just not exactly what I was hoping for.
Tomorrow: Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland
2 thoughts on “Christmas With Batman (1989)”
Nah this feels less like a Christmas story and more like yet another Batman and/or Dick Grayson origin story, a story we've heard a million times.