DC; March 1979
Cover by Jim Aparo
Title: “Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas!”
Synopsis: A young woman’s suicide attempt and a misunderstanding bring Batman to blows with Blockbuster on Christmas Eve.
Writer: Len Wein
Penciler: John Calnan
Inker: Frank McLaughlin
Review: Batman #309 is a surprisingly uninspired comic. Bats has experienced so many high points over the years it’s easy to forget how many average, ho-hum issues he’s starred in. Len Wein’s story here is just so-so. The attempted suicide angle could have been compelling, but doesn’t connect emotionally. Likewise, the chase and battle sequences between Batman and Blockbuster are pretty routine. Even more generic is the art of John Calnan. You can see hints of other artists in his work, but little in the way of a consistent style; both his rendering and storytelling are a bit bland.
Cool factor: This reviewer’s copy used to be owned by the Kubert family. That’s at least a little cool.
Not-so-cool factor: Batman gives Commissioner Gordon tobacco for Christmas. (Lung cancer – the gift that keeps on giving!)
Notable: The “Bat Signals” letter column includes an LoC from future Eclipse editor Cat Yronwode.
Character quotable: “Death never takes a holiday, does he?” – Batman, dark knight detective.
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