Although it’s expected for any media to release special installments based on our favorite holidays, there’s just something magical about superheroes celebrating Christmas. Maybe it’s watching iconic characters we love come together to extol peace and goodwill.

Maybe we just like seeing all our favorite heroes rewarded for all their efforts. Whatever it is, everyone’s got their own versions of beloved holiday classics starring superheroes. We here at ComicsVerse asked five of our writers what their favorite DC Holiday specials are and what moments meant the most to them. From grabbing a cup of coffee with a close friend to a Martian finding the true Christmas spirit, DC gave our contributors plenty to choose from!

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES: “Holiday Knights”

By Brandon Bloxdorf

Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Winter in Gotham City! In BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, fans get a classic holiday special that rolls through the snow-filled month of December. Delivering all the action you love from BTA as Batman, Robin, and Batgirl go up against shopaholics Harley and Ivy, an ice skating Clayface, and the Joker in Gotham Square. Compiling of three shorts, we get an episode that gets us in the right kind of Gotham Christmas spirit. The crimefighters and caped crusaders fill the episode with plenty to keep us thrilled, but there’s a moment that makes this worth watching every year.

After spoiling the Joker’s fun at the Gotham Square New Year’s Ball Drop, Gordon walks into a tavern filled with carolers as he waits for a friend. The Dark Knight himself comes through the back door, sitting down with Gordon for their yearly tradition. It’s compelling to see Batman and Gordon’s friendship at this moment. The pair says cheers to a year of survival and hope for another as they continue to battle the madness of Gotham.

By meeting in this particular shop for a cup of coffee, we’re able to admire how they keep each other going through the chaos. As Gordon leans back ordering a slice of pie, Batman has slipped away, leaving cash on the table for the tab. It’s a heartwarming moment considering all the darkness in Batman’s world, which is perfect for the season of giving and the start of a new year.

BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN

By Maite Isabelle Molina-Muniz

Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

When the holidays arrive, we often get nostalgic. We find ourselves reminiscing about the memories we made as children that we now associate with the Christmas season. One of the first graphic novels I ever read was BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It’s a story revolving around a string of murders by an individual known as the Holiday Killer. Said killer strikes on one specific holiday each month, including Christmas.

Though the graphic novel tends to be somber in tone, the Christmas chapter is unexpectedly hopeful. District Attorney Harvey Dent surprises his wife, Gilda Dent, with a house. She’s elated by the surprise, believing that it can serve as the beginning of a new chapter in their life. Though most readers are aware of Harvey’s dark future, this moment is a rare and positive one for such a haunted character. For once, readers get the impression that Harvey has a chance to change his life and start a family with his beloved wife. We find ourselves believing that there may be hope for him after all.

I Believe in Harvey Dent- Jeff Loeb’s BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN

BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN is particularly important to me because it is the first graphic novel I shared with my sister during the holidays many years ago. Though she hadn’t read a graphic novel before, she wanted to understand why this meant so much to me. The story serves as another important connection between my family and me during the holiday season.

So, though Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s work is a dark tale, the Christmas chapter instills some hope in both the characters and the readers, reminding them that the holidays can be a magical season for anyone, even notorious Batman villains.

52 #33

By Alex Bisignaro

Christmas
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Christmas can stir various emotions in everyone. The holiday is often depicted as a season of happiness, but for some, that simply isn’t the case. It can be difficult, particularly when you find yourself away from those you love. While I typically focus on the childhood wonder, I’m drawn toward stories about those experiencing loneliness during the holidays. Maybe it’s sympathetic nature. Perhaps it feels more raw and real compared to the joy that other stories produce.

In DC’s 52 #33, we’re given several vignettes that take place during the week of Christmas. For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it took place after INFINITE CRISIS and dealt with the vast repercussions. The moment that always stood out to me was the rift between Buddy Baker (Animal Man) and his wife, Ellen. Long story short: Animal Man is lost in space with Adam Strange and Starfire. Ellen is on Earth with her two kids trying to stay strong, hopeful that Buddy will return.

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During this particular issue of 52, the majority of scenes are positive and sweet. There’s one page, however, that shows about twelve tiny snippets of various characters enjoying or dealing with the holiday. On the far right of the page is Buddy’s spaceship approaching a mighty star. On the far left is Ellen blowing a kiss up toward that same star and whispering, “Happy Christmas, Buddy. Come home.”

It’s a real heartening scene. This represents what Christmas means to me: thinking of those you love, whether they’re with us or not. It’s about reflecting on the human condition and feeling those emotions that we can’t quite explain. It comes out as sad or beautiful or somewhere in between, and this scene in 52 reflects it beautifully.

BATMAN ANNUAL #1: “Good Boy”

By A.J. Zender

Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Christmas means something different for each person that gives this time of year its magic. For my family, Christmas has always been our biggest yearly event. It isn’t simply one night but an entire month of goodwill and a heaping helping of our favorite holiday movies. At the end of the day, family, biological or otherwise, still stands as the main reason for the season. It’s why we drive for hours in the snow and fend off Christmas shoppers.

As a long-time fan of BATMAN, I’ve come to realize a sad truth about the Caped Crusader. He has no family. Everyone who tries to slip into his life gets placed firmly at arms’ length. In Tom King’s BATMAN ANNUAL #1, we’re given a glimpse of what Christmas is like for Bruce. In the story “Good Boy,” we witness the Rebirth origins of Ace the Bat-Hound. Abused by the Joker, Ace and his brothers were left alone in a ditch to fight amongst themselves. Ace was the only survivor. Despite the anger within the beast, Alfred decides to take Ace to Wayne Manor and train it. Weeks later, Christmas arrives and beneath the tree is a tame, perfectly loving pet.

BATMAN ANNUAL #1 Review: ‘Tis the Season to Scream Batsy

This story has stuck with me from my first read. The redemption narrative is entirely satisfying, with Alfred going through great pains to see Ace healed. Part of me wonders if Alfred saw a bit of Bruce in the dog. It’s the strength of family, though, that draws me in every single time. Although it isn’t strictly a Christmas story, the themes are perfect for the holidays. Even the most beaten animal can recover. More importantly, it shows how fighting for your family members is more rewarding than nearly anything else.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: “Comfort and Joy”

By Ward Williams

Christmas
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Despite its reputation as “the most wonderful time of the year,” it’s easy to be pessimistic about Christmas. While it seems like a magical time as a child, once we grow older it’s hard to forget that suffering doesn’t end come December 25th, or how commercial Christmas can be. Whenever I need reminding of why I love this time of the year so much, I watch the JUSTICE LEAGUE episode “Comfort and Joy.”

Although the installment follows multiple narratives, the one I always found the most meaningful was the Martian Manhunter’s. Superman invites J’onn J’onzz to stay with his parents since the Last Son of Mars has nowhere else to go during the holidays. Although the Kents are more than hospitable to their Martian visitor, J’onn clearly feels out of place. As an alien who lost his family on a distant planet, J’onn doesn’t have a connection to Christmas the same way that Clark does. To get a better perspective, J’onn heads into Smallville to see how everyone else is celebrating.

As an outsider looking in, J’onn can witness a part of Christmas that those of us who grew up with it may have forgotten. It’s a spirit of love and goodwill that makes us want to be our best selves. Something that makes us want to spend time with the important people in our lives simply because we care about them. It’s the same thing that brought WWI to a standstill and pushes us to donate thousands of dollars to charity every year. That’s what this holiday means to me. It’s not a time where everything’s perfect but, as seen when J’onn celebrates in his true form, it’s one where I still believe it can be.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays From ComicsVerse!

We hope you enjoyed our selection! Christmas means something different for everyone, so do you have a favorite DC holiday moment? If so, let us know in the comments! From all of us at ComicsVerse, we hope you have a fantastic holiday season!

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