With Christmas Eve finally upon us and most of the presents safely tucked under the tree, there might be a few of you wondering what I want for Christmas this year. Well, as we all know from the Saturn Knight story, Christmas isn’t just about getting stuff, but if I was pressed, I’d have to admit that there’s one thing I’d really like to see this year.
And that is Batman.
Kicking a bear in the face.
But, well, that’s pretty specific to my taste, so really… what’re the odds of that showing up?
IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!
It’s a story that could only be told in the pages of 1976’s Batman #285, also known as The Greatest Comic Book of All Time. So great, in fact, that I’d originally just automatically assumed it was by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo, because really, it’s Batman in a Christmas Tree fighting a bear, and that’s got Haney written all over it. But while Aparo does provide the cover, it’s actually David Reed, Romeo Tanghal and Frank Springer who bring us this tale of holiday cheer.
So here’s how it goes down:
All the people in Gotham liked Christmas a lot. But Dr. Tzin-Tzin, imprisoned in Arkham… did not.
Was it maybe because he’d lost too many fights? Or because Batman had trapped him with noise and bright lights?
Was there even a reason? Were there maybe a million? All that matters right now is that this guy’s the villain.
But at least he’s locked up… Oh, right, this is Arkham, where they’re out of the cells just as soon as they park ’em.
Before long, he’s escaped without doing his time, and he sets about plotting a Holiday crime!
“It’s insanely special!” said the man with the cowl, “He’s going to stop Christmas from coming… but how?
Tzin-Tzin had an idea. An awesome idea. Dr. Tzin-Tzin had a terrible, awesome idea!
He’d pray to his dark gods! He’d unleash his magic! He’d make sure this Christmas was nothing but tragic!
“I’ll now have my vengeance! He’ll fall before me! I’ll make Batman fight a bear… IN A HUGE CHRISTMAS TREE!”
But Batman, as we know, won’t go out like a punk. Just ask Riddler, the Joker, Scarecrow and Mad Monk.
So the bear’s taken out, but as Bats gets reflective, he sees the whole city was Tzin-Tzin’s objective!
He’s stolen their Christmas! He’s stolen their thoughts! All the holiday cheer from the Haves and Have-Nots!
They don’t know they should party at the big Christmas Bash! Why, they can’t even remember to serve the Bat-Hash!
All but Batman it seems, have forgotten the season, and now we can see Tzin-Tzin’s plan has a reason:
He doesn’t just want to make the Batman pay… He wants him to suffer alone Christmas Day!
Clearly, he forgot how much rage Batman has to be fed. I mean, jeez, Doc… the guy’s friggin’ parents are dead!
And that’s why Bruce Wayne cannot suffer in silence, so like so many things… this one calls for some violence.
Thus, Christmas is saved, and we all learn a little, so keep this in mind if your spirit gets brittle:
Maybe Christmas, it seems, doesn’t come from a place. But from inside your heart…
…or a kick to the face.