Review: The Best of DC #22

The Best of DC #22 cover
Cover by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano

The Best of DC #22
Published and © by DC, March 1982

Title: “The TT’s Swingin’ Christmas Carol!”
Synopsis: The Teen Titans use a little Dickens to make a greedy junk dealer named Scrounge learn the meaning of Christmas.

Writer: Bob Haney
Artist: Nick Cardy

Review: This digest-sized collection of mostly reprints (see the Grand Comics Database for reprint details) offers a nice selection of DC Christmas stories. There’s too much Dickens worship, beginning with this lead feature. But Bob Haney gives it a groovy spin, and Nick Cardy’s scratchy, cartoony art is excellent.


Title: “Merry Christmas”
Synopsis: A wayward family seeking shelter from a winter storm stumbles across a crime in progress. Can Batman save the day?

Writer: Denny O’Neil
Penciler: Irv Novick
Inker: Dick Giordano

Review: The star-appearing-in-the-sky ending is beyond cliché, but the art by Irv Novick and Dick Giordano makes this one a winner.


Title: “Freddy Freeman’s Xmas!”
Synopsis: With the help of a couple thugs, Captain Marvel, Jr., brings Christmas cheer to a local orphanage.

Writer: Uncredited
Artist: Uncredited

Review: The story is ham-fisted, but the uncredited art – the Grand Comics Database says it’s Bud Thompson – is quite accomplished.


Title: “A Christmas Peril!”
Synopsis: When the mob decides to corner the market on Christmas trees, they run afoul of Batman and Robin!

Writer: Uncredited
Artist: Jerry Robinson

Review: Another ham-fisted Golden Age tale, but the premise of the mob price fixing the Christmas-tree market is a hoot.


Title: “The Seal Men’s War on Santa Claus”
Synopsis: Jed and Sandman travel into the Dream Stream to rescue Santa from both the Seal Men and a greedy thug.

Writer: Michael Fleisher
Penciler: Jack Kirby
Inker: Mike Royer

Review: This unpublished Jack Kirby tale is the clear highlight. No Dickens remix here, just vintage, Bronze-era zaniness from the King.


Title: “Robin’s (Very) White Christmas!”
Synopsis: Stopping a crook dressed as Santa from stealing Hudson University students’ charity money leaves Robin snowed in for Christmas.

Writer: Bob Rozakis
Penciler: José Delbo
Inker: Vince Colletta

Review: A few too many Christmas puns, but a decent little story. Not a bad outing from artist José Delbo, either.


Title: “The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!”
Synopsis: The Key pulls the Justice League into a Christmas Eve deathtrap, and Red Tornado learns the meaning of Christmas.

Writer: Len Wein
Penciler: Dick Dillin
Inker: Dick Giordano

Review: A by-the-book JLA adventure with strong characterization, and decent art by workhorse Dick Dillin (inked nicely by Dick Giordano).

Grade (for the entire issue): A-

The Best of DC #22 back ccover
Back cover by George Pérez

Cool factor: This digest offers a great mix of DC stories new and old (of course, they’re all old now!)
Not-so-cool factor: For collectors, it can be tough to read this digest format without damaging the spine.

Notable: This issue has a new back cover by George Pérez … The Sandman story, originally scheduled for Sandman #7, was included in a canceled issue of Kamandi collected in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2.

Character quotable: “Hogging the Christmas tree market through terrorism isn’t respectable!” – The Golden Age Batman

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Dec. 18, 2009.

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