Review: DC Universe Halloween Special

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It’s the most wonderful time, of the year…

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This has got to be one of the best weeks of the year.  The spooky decorations are out, the little tykes are trying on their costumes for a night for mischief, and the dental industry is primed to make a killing over the next couple of months as kid’s teeth start falling out from candy rot.  DC is getting into the act too, with an all new seasonal special that should spook us all.


halloweenspecialcover.jpgBut it doesn’t.  DC Universe Halloween Special is an oversized issue jam packed with tales that are not as good as Tales from the Darkside, and lack the appeal of Tales from the Crypt, but one thing it does have are introductions by the ghost detectives themselves Ralph and Sue Dibny.  We haven’t seen the ghostly duo in some time – or maybe we have, as I thought Reign in Hell was so bad I am blocking it out of my memory, so seeing the two have fun aping Alfred Hitchcock, and the rest of the tales of suspense crowd is a a real treat for the holiday.

Now don’t get me wrong, the tales in the Halloween Special don’t blow chunks like the fat kid who ate too many popcorn balls.  Instead, we are presented with kid friendly-ish tales that are designed to make you relive some of your favorite scares and feature some of the big guns from the DCU to make it worth while.   There’s a tale of Superman who gets caught up with a ghost who never made his deadline, a kid duo who get suckered into going into a dark sewer, only to discover Batman is there with candy, and a fun retelling of the Legend of Sleepy Hallow, just to name a few.

With ten tales to tell in 60 some odd pages, there is something that is going to be lacking.  Having a one shot like this, written by a myriad of writer and illustrated by very fine artists makes this a title that should hit it out of the park.  But again, it doesn’t.

If there is one thing this title suffers from the most it is there are too many stories to tell in the space alloted.  This means most of the stories are paced very strange, to the point the whole reveal, or ah-ha moment, is completely lost.  And this is bad, as there are some really great build ups and really great endings, but the middle has been hacked out by some deranged psycho showing up at a sorority house unannounced, during a thunderstorm, and when the lights are all out.

Even with the the strange jumps in storytelling, this is a keen book.  I love that DC is getting into the spirit and attempting to have fun with readers young and old.  If this title not had a $5.99 cover price, and DC had approached this one-shot as a gateway drug to the bigger comic community, I would have had no problem slipping copies of this issue into the age appropriate bag of those trick or treaters come All Hallows Eve.  This may sound like an odd thing to hand out on Halloween, but I’ve done it before with Archie and Disney comics, and the kids love it.  The tales in this special don’t go too far over the edge (okay, maybe The Demon tale does) so young kids would eat this stuff up.  Heck, it beats what I’m giving out this year – GHOST CANDY FOR EVERYONE!  Help yourself, there’s plenty.

I really want to like this book, there is a spirit of fun inside that is trying to claw its way to the top.  With those holes in the story though, it’s like going to a house expecting full sized Snickers bars and ending up with a toothbrush.  I’m giving DC credit for trying, and getting an issued filled with good writers and artists out on time, which means the DC Universe Halloween Special earns 2 out of 5 Stars.

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22/22