Saturday, December 25, 2010

Comic Book Review: Jolly Ol’ St. Nicholas

The Batman Adventures: Holiday Special: Jolly Ol’ St. Nicholas
Unrated
4 Slimes
Copyright DC Comics 1995

THE CHARACTERS

Barbara Gordon/Batgirl: One of the Bat family members out shopping for presents. It’s kind of amusing that she brought her costume with her to go shopping. It’s almost like she expects trouble to happen.

Harvey Bullock: A detective for the Gotham P.D. who is undercover as a Mall Santa. Despite his rough and tough appearance, he’s actually a pretty sweet guy after all.

Renee Montoya: A detective for the Gotham P.D. who is undercover as a Santa’s Helper/Elf. I do not think she is short enough for that particular role.

Clayface: A man of made of clay that can turn into anything he wants. Have no clue why he is robbing a department store since I do not remember him ever interested in anything other than returning back to normal in the show. Guess I got to watch the show again.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Bullets have no effect against large amounts of squishy clay.
+ Mall Santas come in two varieties, the jolly ones and undercover cop ones.
+ Santa’s helpers are armed and dangerous.
+ Jewelry is left out in the open in a busy store unprotected.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Batgirl: [After changing costume] 48 seconds - - not bad! I’d like to see Robin beat that!

Batgirl: Shoot Santa!
Harvey: [To Renee] You wouldn’t…

THE PLOT

It’s that time of year again, time for the annual Christmas review. Like last year, it is another Batman comic or part of one in this case. Back in the 90’s during the animated series, there were of course comics that went along with the show. In 1995, there was a Holiday Special that feature a bunch of stories about the Batman family and rogues during the holiday season. We are focusing on one particular story from that special, Jolly Ol’ St. Nicholas. Why? Well because I don’t have the actual comic, just this short story from the awesome Batman: Mad Love hardcover collection. With that in mind, let’s just jump right into it.

Our story begins on December 3rd at a department store, where we see Barbara Gordon shopping for Christmas presents. Meanwhile, two Gotham detectives, Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya, are undercover as a mall Santa and elf. Apparently, someone has been robbing stores in the mall and those are there on watch. Personally, I do not see why two experience detectives like themselves are needed, but whatever.

Barbara spots a little kid stealing a valuable necklace (And it’s not in the glass case because?) and tries to stop him. In a surprisingly turn of events, when she grabs the kid’s hand, it comes off! Renee and Harvey spring into action themselves as they get the call about that robbery and a couple of others as well. They chase turn the perpetrators who then merge into each other and form Clayface!

I have no idea why he is robbing a department store, since I remember from the TV show that he is trying to return to normal last time I checked. Maybe I missed an episode or something. Regardless, he walks through mall security and is about to kill the detectives when Barbara springs into action as Batgirl. She kicks him out of the building through a window (If bullets can’t phase him, then why does a kick catapult him through a window?) and onto an ice rink set up outside the building.

He sees through her little plan about trying to use cold water underneath the ice to slow him down, but says that won’t do any good. Batgirl sees the two detectives and calls to them to shoot out the large Santa above the guy. They do and electric wires holding it up drop, shocking the monster. With Clayface down, the story comes to end as Harvey has to dig the bullets out of the clay bad guy for evidence reasons.

It’s a short and simple story from a bigger collection, but it is a darn fun one. Sure you have your silly logic issues, but they do not detract from the story. Some decent humor bits, a heartwarming moment with Harvey early in, good artwork, and few other things make this a fun read. Not much else to say but have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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