Thursday, May 02, 2019

80-Page Thursdays: DC's Nuclear Winter Special #1!

Yay, a new DC 80-pager! These are usually light, breezy reading...OK, this one may not be scads of fun. Or scabs of fun. From (late) 2018, DC's Nuclear Winter Special #1, featuring stories by Mark Russell, Mairghread Scott, Paul Dini, and more; art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Mike Norton, Christian Duce, and more.

Sigh. Look, I know sometimes comics readers can want "dark" stories: that's why stuff like What If? or Days of Futures Past is popular. "All your favorite heroes, and here's them dying!" This issue feels like a step further, since just about everyone else is dead, too. Framed by Rip Hunter pages, as he tries to play Scheherazade and tell stories to stall three post-apocalyptic cannibals while his time sphere recharges; these stories could all be canon, carved-in-stone predestined futures, or lies Rip pulls out of his ass. Or both! Still, the cannibals are supposed to be funny, with their references to "Oogle" and terms and conditions of who can be eaten; they really aren't.

The obligatory Batman story is Damian's dark future, but as least pits him against R'as al Ghul instead of the Joker. Next is a Superman One Million/Martian Manhunter story, then a dark Flash story: sacrificing himself to save the day one last time, Barry is trapped in the Speed Force forever, but at least gets to see those he left behind before he goes on to what's next.

In "Where the Light Cannot Reach," Aquaman is living on a mountaintop, but two scientists convince him to brave the irradiated ocean depths in search of a radiation-eating microbe. "Last Daughters" features an older Supergirl trying to save what might be the last girl on earth. Paul Dini and Jerry Ordway pit Firestorm against oddball Outsiders robots, the Nuclear Family. That one is set after some level of atomic holocaust, but Firestorm appears to be about as usual, not huffing radiation or anything.

Phillip Hester's "Northern Lights" is a Kamandi Hanukkah story, and probably my favorite of this lot. Then a kinda generic Catwoman story--it puts the "winter" in nuclear winter, anyway; then the last full story, "The Birds of Christmas Past, Present and Future." An aged and crabby old Green Arrow is invited to the JLA holiday party, despite having quit the team long ago; and revisits an old friend and an older frenemy. It's not bad, especially if you hold with the opinion that Ollie is never going to make the right decisions in his personal life, not even if he lives to be 80. (All that chili he eats, I don't see him living past that...)

The scans are in no particular order this time, since this was a square-bound that we still crammed into the scanner. Despite having Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman on the cover, they aren't in this one. (Save WW briefly appearing in Flash's story.) I paid half-price for this one, and I guess I half-enjoyed it? Despite the grimdarkness of nuclear winter, it didn't quite go that far. It's no Twilight of the Bat, that's for sure.

1 comment:

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

Ah Ollie and Carter...those two will probably fight forever.
I'm going to go look this one up on readonline just for the Batman story. Premise sounds good enough to read.