The Best of DC #22, March 1982

A rather nice digest-sized piece of festive fun featuring a well-chosen selection of super-hero tales with a Christmas theme. The Rich Buckler/Dick Giordano cover gives a good idea of the wonders to be found within. Everybody makes an appearance, except one—and he gets his spotlight on the back.

“The Teen Titans Swingin’ Christmas Carol!” kicks off the festivities. A much-reprinted story, this was written by Bob Haney and boasts some of Nick Cardy’s best ever art. As you might guess, given the title, the tale sees the Titans plot to change the ways of the miserly Ebeneezer Scrounge. We’ll take a more detailed look later in the week.

Next, Batman enjoys a “Merry Christmas” courtesy of Denny O’Neil and Irv Novick, as he finds himself holed up in a remote snowbound house with the nasty Chimp Manners, who has stolen a vial of nerve gas. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel, Jr helps a bunch of orphans enjoy “Freddy Freeman’s Xmas!” in a Golden Age reprint from 1947.

A further Golden Age tale, this one starring Batman, has the Dynamic Duo facing “A Christmas Peril!” in this issue’s second paraphrase of Dickens. The recently deceased Jerry Robinson pencils.

A lost Jack Kirby Sandman story, scripted by Mike Fleisher, hailing from the end of the King’s mid-70s DC sojourn, but never previously published is next, but we’ll save the details for another time.

Bare legs blue against the cold, a solo Robin nonetheless enjoys a “…Very White Christmas!” as he takes down a gang of crooks bent on crashing a Kris Kringle Konvention in a story by Bob Rozakis and Jose Delbo. Finally, a depleted Justice League enter a mysterious old house and are picked off one by one, Jigsaw like, as they investigate “The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!” and help Red Tornado understand the Christmas tradition. Dicks Dillin and Giordano draw Len Wein’s script.

The back cover is by George Perez using an unusually scratchy style that is perhaps tribute to Cardy’s Titans work. Sandman, mysteriously absent from the front cover gets his moment here.

Track this down and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Images ©2011 DC Comics