DC Universe Holiday Special ’09 (Sgt. Rock)
“A Peace on Earth”
Story/Art – Billy Tucci
Colors – Hi-Fi
Letters – Rob Clark, Jr.
Editors – Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Today we kick off the first of two War-Era Christmas Stories, with Sgt. Rock. Definitely not my wheelhouse, but I’m confident even I can do war stories in short bursts! Especially when they come with a Holiday backdrop!
Guess what day it is… c’mon, you got this one. Yes, my friends… it’s Christmas Eve (1944)! We open with Sgt. Rock out patrolling in the snow… when, as he passes under a bridge… he walks right by a German Soldier! They both scramble for their guns, and wind up slipping in the slush… with their firearms primed on one another, both men start laughing at the absurdity of the situation.
The German Solider asks Frank if he can spare a cigarette… and the two become fast friends. For the next little while, they drink, smoke, and share stories of their lives back home. Family pictures are exchanged… tales of woe are told, it’s really quite a powerful little scene.
When the bottles are empty, they get back to their feet… and remind one another that they’re both under strict orders from on high to “shoot on sight” when they are confronted by the enemy. And so… they do.
They both empty their guns… into the air.
They wish each other a Merry Christmas, and part peacefully… both likely knowing that the next time their paths cross, it won’t turn out the same way.
I really enjoyed this. This might low-key be the best story in the issue.
I’m am, however, kind of “of two minds” on it… in that, I dunno… I feel like we’ve been here before. Regular readers will know that I’m not really a “war comics” kind of guy… quite frankly, (outside of a certain era of Blackhawk) they bore me. That being said, the only times I can really force myself to read them… is usually when they’re in the form of some sort of Holiday special.
And yeah… this feels like a “been there, done that” sort of scenario. It’s not bad… not in the slightest, it’s just very well-trodden ground. Enemies putting their differences aside on one special day a year… I mean, it’s even happened in real life during the Christmas Truce of 1914. Again though, when it’s done as well as it is here… I can’t be mad at it.
Not only was the story wonderfully touching… the art was… oof. The art was phenomenal… and so fitting of the tone of the story. Just a wonderful little Christmas story… and one I’d highly recommend.
Tomorrow: The third Enemy Ace story I’m going to force myself to read… also, the third Enemy Ace Christmas story I’m going to read!