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Christmas is a huge thing. Streets and houses are lit up and people even travel around towns to see all the different displays. Christmas is so big that its influence can also be found in movies, special episodes for TV series, and the holiday event has even crept its way into comic books. Seeing the cover (Santa being beaten up by Neron) was the sole reason I picked up this comic.
Plastic Man is with some friends and it is the night before Christmas. The child will not go to sleep, believing Santa Clause is not real, so Plastic Man tells a story of when Santa became a member of the Justice League. The Justice League is given a message that Santa is a prisoner in hell, and so they go to rescue him. Here they must defeat Neron (whom is making children behave badly with his own brand of toys) with the help of Big Red and to ensure that the deserving children get their gifts in time.
The story, as told by Plastic Man (written by Mark Waid) takes us on a fun-filled adventure that is completely silly but at the same time truly filled with the spirit of Christmas (as shown by Santa towards the end).
Being a self contained issue, it is a challenge to put in an entire story with a beginning, complication and an end. Waid rises easily to this challenge with his compact story that is both light-hearted but contains enough action so as to not bore and without too much content that the reader is left feeling overwhelmed. The story in this issue is quite different to Waid’s other works like 52 and Kingdom Come, almost a complete opposite direction.
Cliff Rathburn did the pencils on this comic as a guest to the series. This was Rathburn’s debut work and as far as first off’s go, I am satisfied with his artwork. His work on the characters was done well and kept into proportion. His work on Plastic Man’s many goofy different shapes and designs for little demonic elves are other things to be noted. A downside to his artwork however would be that there appear to be many lines on the characters that aren’t needed. Rathburn’s work on the first six issues of Brit was a vast improvement.
David Baron did the coloring for this issue and to great effect. Baron used a lot of bright colors, (like his work in Justice Society of America: Classified) even making the browns appear bright, and this works wonders for the mood that this issue conveys.
Wrapping up this issue I believe it was worth the one dollar that it cost me. As for other people picking it up though, unless found cheap or it is part of a collection, you won’t be missing something spectacular. Parents may even end up using this story to tell their kids the night before Christmas.