Monday, December 3, 2007

D.C. Dill - 1975

sgD.C. Dill My best Christmas memories are associated with super heroes. In fact, almost all my childhood memories are associated with superheroes.

Every Christmas, Santa would bring comics and leave them sticking out of the top of my stocking. It was practically ensured that on Christmas morning I would have some new four color wonders for perusing. We're all aware about the differences in hunting for comics between then: spinner racks of the seventies, and now: safe little subscription boxes in comic stores. I would respectfully submit that there's also a vast difference in getting Christmas comics as well. We'll never get back to our childhoods, no matter how hard we try.

Christmas of 1974. I was five years old. Santa brought me four Mego bend-ems, Superman, Batman, Robin, and Shazam, and the treasury edition Christmas with the Super-Heroes(also know as
Limited Collectors' Edition #C-34). I had several treasury editions sticking out of my stocking that Christmas morning. But the Christmas treasuries were always my favorite. In thinking back, I think it's because the other treasuries would focus on one hero or team, while the Christmas editions offered the kind of variety that I didn't get to see much.

This particular treasury was a huge, mind-blowing treat. Superman and Batman, of course, and Captain Marvel. But also Teen Titans and Angel and the Ape. Neither of which I had ever heard of. The Angel and the Ape story was okay. But that Titans story was sheer magnificence. Thanks to this treasury, I was familiar with the Titans version of this story before I ever heard the original A Christmas Carol. And the line-up! I had no idea that Wonder Woman and Flash had kid sidekicks. But that was nothing to this brand-new 'Aqualad' character!!! A kid sidekick for Aquaman!? This was the best Christmas ever!

That scene where Aqualad wades through the oily ground 'like an eel' and starts belting crooks right and left was my favorite. At the time, I didn't know who Nick Cardy was, but from that point on I would recognize his style.

Also, the Captain Marvel story in this treasury is sheer beauty. Captain Marvel and Billy Batson give each other Christmas presents in the end. It boggles the mind.

Contrary to what my friends and co-workers will tell you, I don't hate Marvel. Far from it. I just prefer DC. Now, I mean no disrespect to the Marvel fans out there, but when it came to the Christmas Treasuries, Marvel just didn't get it. They don't hold a candle to the Christmas stories that you can find in DC's library.

One of the best parts of this Treasury is the back cover with the heroes in the Christmas ornaments. I stared at that for hours. Both the front and back covers are sheer Christmas treats. So much so that as an adult, I try to display the covers for Christmas. We don't have a mantle, but I've constructed substitutes a couple of times in the past so I could stand these up in the living room for Christmas. I've definitely shared this treasury with the kids a couple of times.


Anonymous said...

Dear D.C.-

Hear, hear!

I recall reading the Titans story as I waited at my Aunt's to open gifts, that Christmas Eve...

Loved the next year's, too - only wish there were ten more of them.

But I'm re-reading these two right now!

Happy Holidays,
-Craig W.

P.S. - I have a little Marvel Christmas thingie I'm forwarding to Boss Man Rob...

Anonymous said...

This is by far my favorite, too. I know that the Teen Titans story was hoaky, but it was atleast FUN hoaky, and all the kids got to do something in the adventure. It's one of my all-time favorite Christmas stories, right up there with Silent Night, Deadly Night starring Batman (also featured in this collection, IIRC...)