DC Universe Holiday Special ’09 (Flash)
“Flash Before Christmas”
Writer – Amy Wolfram
Art – Daniel Leister
Colors – Nei Ruffino
Letters – Travis Lanham
Editors – Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Before we hop into today’s story, I just wanted to briefly follow-up on yesterday’s pre-ramble, just in case anyone’s interested. The Pug’s surgery was a complete success… and although he had to lose 21 (!) teeth to fully take care of the abscess, he is back home… and running around on his wobbly legs like a pup half his age! So, yeah… finally managed to get a few hours sleep last night!
We open as Linda is sending little Jai and Iris off to school. Wally sidles up hoping for some alone time, and winds up with the most festive Honey-do list a fella might wanna get. He’s gotta do a whole bunch’a stuff before that evening’s Christmas Pageant at the school… and, guess what? He’s gonna take us along for the ride! First stop: The Post Office? Why in the world would the Flash ever need to mail anything? Well, one look at the line, Wally has that exact same thought!
While in Gorilla City dropping off that package, Wally gets a call from his mother about setting up her Christmas Tree. And so, our man heads to the nearest Christmas Tree Lot… only to learn that he’s waited too long, the only trees left are tinder! Off to the woods, where Wally chops the nicest tree ya ever did see. He sets it up for his mother… however, before he can string the outside lights, he gets a call from the Justice League about a fight with Killer Croc. This is that weird pre-Flashpoint JLA, with Donna Troy and the Dick Grayson Batman, by the way.
They take care of Croc, and get to catching up. Dick asks Wally what he’s getting Linda… to which he replies: Nothing! They agreed not to exchange. Dick suggests he think twice about that. Donna then chime in by giving the Flash his JLA “Secret Santa”… and it’s Raven.
Off to the Mall of America, so Wally can pick up a Blue Rocket Ranger action figure for Jai. Dude behind the counter informs him that those things are selling out right as they hit the shelves! And so, Wally just runs to the factory in China to buy one fresh off the line.
He spends the rest of the afternoon finishing up the rest of the Honey-do list. We wrap up on Christmas Morning, where Wally gives Linda a brand-new… spellbook?! Well, that’s a mistake. Quick as a Flash, Wally corrects his error… swapping the spellbook that was intended for Raven with the lingerie meant for Linda. Whoops. Jai opens his toy, and Iris proclaims this to be the Best Christmas Ever.
Now, I had a wonderful time with this one! It was a lot of fun.
Before we talk any about the story, I just want to credit our creative team for their fantastic use of space here! I feel like we here at the Infinite Earths have become de-facto experts on “short stories” over the last little while, and I gotta say… this simple four-page piece, might be the most perfect use of “paginal real estate” that I’ve seen yet! The only downside to that (as a blogger) is, I feel like I want to include pictures of every single panel, as there is something relevant to the synopsis is all of ’em! What I’m trying to say is: Well Done!
Now, the story. It was a heckuva lot of fun! If you’re a long-time reader of the site, you know Wally’s my Flash… and any opportunity to chat him up, is one that I’ll take! Again, if you’re a long-time reader of the site, you’ll know: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the twins! Well, in general, I’m still kinda not… but, this was a Christmas story, so I’m down with it! Just like in real-life, Christmas only gets better with the addition of little ones (or so I’ve heard), this story too was enhanced by their inclusion.
This, taking place at the tail-end of what we know as the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, makes it a bit of a bittersweet read. Naturally, that’s not specific to this story in particular… but, it served as a retroactive reminder of everything we’d lost during the Summer of 2011. Looking at Wally and Linda… seeing the “graduates” era of the Justice League… for the first time in a long time, it felt as though the DC Universe was, I dunno “maturing”. Maturing in the real sense, not the current Black Label “curse words and private parts” sense. It makes me sad every time I revisit this era… because it’s a reminder of that cosmic toilet flush that was looming on the horizon.
Well, I certainly let this review portion get away from me, didn’t I?
Ahem… anyhoo. This story was a blast, and if you’re looking at adding any short-subjects to your regular Holiday comics reading routine… I’d highly recommend this one!
Tomorrow: I’ll have a DOOMED Christmas without you…