This is nowhere near as classic as “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” but DC continues to try to make their yearly Halloween special strive towards becoming as reliable a tradition. While last year’s special had thirteen stories, this year stops at a half dozen, with no added bonuses or extra features. Of those six tales, half of them are almost instantly forgettable, including a pale shadow of “For the Man Who Has Everything” that stars Superman being helped by Etrigan.
The Billy Tucci Batman story hits the right notes artistically, starring a pair of young kids torturing a psychopath who in turn has to be rescued by Batman. It sounds twisted in this summary of it, but Tucci makes it a charming tale of youth living up to the example set by their inspiration.
Batman and Robin (the current) team with Andrew Bennett of “I. . . Vampire” fame to battle the Blood Moon Cult. The play between the three characters is entertaining, but all too brief, and the resolution to the story just a little too swift. Lee Garbett’s work on the story is sensational and Chris Beckett’s colors really make the story breathe.
The Flash and Frankenstein story is quite an odd duck here. So much happens that seems off or out of place, like Frankenstein actually connecting with the Flash’s face. The end of the story is a jolt that left me thinking that perhaps Alex Segura should have played up the humor aspect throughout. The sudden flip to tongue-in-cheek pulls the characters out of character enough to distract. Kenneth Loh’s art is reminiscent of standard fare from the 1990s, and frankly falls short between Garbett and Dean Zachary.
Dean Zachary’s art for the Wonder Woman and Deadman tale is strongly detailed and full of non-traditional page set-ups. Sure his Wonder Woman plays more towards cheesecake than not, but the overall look is a nice compliment to Vinton Heuck’s story. Heuck, however, waffles between writing a Deadman and Wonder Woman who have met before versus an absence of familiarity between the two. Deadman talks about how amazing it is to actually see Wonder Woman then calls out to her more than once as a familiar.
Bryan Miller’s Klarion/Miss Martian/Blue Beetle story is fun, and Trevor McCarthy’s art matches the fun. I can’t help but wonder how much better “Teen Titans” could be with this duo on board for a run.
All in all, this one-shot underwhelms more than overwhelms. There are some fun team-ups here, but none of them are extremely memorable. It’s a fun comic for the most part, but for the price this thing is asking, I’d prefer to have some more memorable moments.