DC Universe Holiday Special ’09 (Doom Patrol)
“The (Beast) Boy Who Hated Christmas!”
Writer – Sterling Gates
Art – Jonboy Meyers
Colors – Chuck Pires
Letters – Travis Lanham
Editors – Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Something really cool about this Holiday Special is the fact that we’re not only going to be getting stories from the “Magnificent Seven” or the strictly A-List characters… we’re going to get some real weirdos moving forward (heck, we’re gonna be talking B’wana friggin’ Beast in a few days!). It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Doom Patrol, so today’s is gonna be fun!
Let’s get right to it!
We open way back in the long ago, with the Doom Patrol victorious in battle over… I wanna say the Brain. It’s a giant robot, with what appears to be a brain exposed on top. Might just be some artistic license… might be another baddie altogether. It’s not really important here. What’s important at this juncture is… it’s Christmas Eve! And Beast Boy really isn’t the biggest fan of the Holiday Season. The narration only backs that up. The Doomies ask Gar why he’s so down… and he’s pretty evasive. He basically tells his teammates to “stick it” before morphing into a bird to return home to his caretaker.
Rita decides to follow and try and get to the bottom of what’s the matter with Gar… and so, she tracks him back to the motel where his guardian, Mr. Galtry is holed up. Upon return, Gar is immediately scolded and put to work. Rita is beside herself… and reports her findings to her husband, Steve “Mento” Dayton.
She then makes a suggestion… a plea, even. Considering that Gar is only fourteen, that means he’ll be stuck with this jerk guardian for another four years. Rita beats around the bush a bit rather than flat-out asking the question rattling around in her head. Steve, however, smells what she’s cookin’… and shoots her down.
We shift ahead a little while, and rejoin Beast Boy as he’s reading a Christmas story. He’s interrupted by his Doom Patrol communications device calling him into action! He rushes out, only to find, not an emergency, but Steve and Rita… and they really want to talk.
Rita reveals that she, like Logan, hated Christmas. Being a strictly career-minded individual as an actress, she never had any use for the Holidays. She never prioritized family, and was actually annoyed by those who did. Now, though… things are different. She has a husband in Steve, a support system in the Doom Patrol… in fact, there’s only one thing that’s missing. And, considering that that is unable to have children… that one thing is likely to remain elusive. That is, of course, unless Gar allows she and Steve to legally adopt him as their Son.
Well, that’s all our Beast Boy needed to hear… he is 100% on board with this idea! We wrap up with the revelation that the anti-Christmas narration we’ve been reading was not coming from Beast Boy… but Rita all along.
Another great little story!
Being a sucker for “lore”, I appreciate any time where established continuity can be used in service of another story. Rita and Steve adopting Gar is an important (and oft-cited) part of that early Doom Patrol run… and, I’ll admit it’s been awhile since I last read that stuff… so, I don’t remember exactly how this went down back in the long ago.
But, that doesn’t really matter here! This is just a neat little heartwarming Christmas story. I really dug the little switcheroo we got with the narration. It was easy to assume that the anti-Christmas sentiment was coming from the (Beast) Boy Who Hated Christmas… so, it was neat and clever when we found out it was actually Rita!
Gotta mention the art… it’s pretty spectacular. I first (knowingly) encountered Jonboy Meyers during his time on Spawn… and, he’s the kinda talent where, when you see his work, you know you’re looking at something special. I was so psyched when he was tapped to provide art for the Rebirth era Teen Titans… and was super-bummed when it all fell through! Excellent stuff… beautiful characters!
I was going to save this reveal for the end of our DC Universe Holiday Special ’09 discussion… however, since that will wrap up on Christmas Day, it’s going to be too late. As of this writing, you can head over to DC Digital and grab this entire issue… for FREE!
Give it a click… and add these stories to your Holiday Reading Rotation! Tell ’em Chris is on Infinite Earths sentcha… if they ask, which they won’t!
Tomorrow: Kon-El crashes the Party!