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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 139

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at a story by Alan Brennert and the late, great Dick Giordano, from Christmas with the Superheroes #2, which was ranked number ONE on the Greatest Supergirl Stories Ever Told list!


The story is a Deadman tale, showing how Deadman spends the holidays…

He tries to take a piece of other people’s holidays, but he realizes that that is pretty wrong of him, so he goes off by himself and decides to wallow in some self-pity…

Beautiful, just beautiful.

Talk about capturing the spirit of a character in just a few simple pages.

Wonderful work by Brennert, who we really ought to convince to write some more comic books. Forget those popular novels you write, Brennert! Why be content to have one of the Best Books of 2009 (according to the Washington Post) with your latest, Honolulu (read reviews of it here) when you could be writing comic books to please me?!?

And, naturally, the art by Giordano is strong, as always.

Great comic.



every time, it gets me!

“We still remember” – and so do we readers of THIS unforgettable story! Bravo!

Wow, I’ve never seen that before, but that is really cool. Thanks for sharing it. Had me a little misty eyed.

the story was so moving for deadman upset that he is doing good and no one cares then to learn he has it all wrong. touching dc needs to put this story in a deadman collection

One thing that amazes me about this story is how well it works no matter whether you recognise Kara or not, no matter how much of her history you do or don’t know. It’s constructed so even if you’ve never seen her before, you realise she did what needed to be done, that no one else would, and that no one knows. Some stories that gain power from referencing earlier works (as this certainly does) fail to work stand-alone. This, however, seems self-contained enough to still give a strong payoff in isolation.

Of course, the more you DO know about Kara, the more resonant and powerful it becomes. When I first read this soon after it came out I was familiar with the end of her pre-Crisis career, but not the beginning. It still packed a wallop that has stayed with me for years. Since then I’ve read the reprints of her early years and now appreciate the historical significance of “Even if no one knows we exist”.

The core for me is the second last panel on the second last page. It’s heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. This must be in the Top Ten Comics Stories That Make You Cry, too! Encore! :)

Great, great little tale.

Alan Brennert may be one of the greatest writers DC has ever had. I used to love how he would breeze in from Hollywood, maybe once a year (or even less frequently), write a brilliant story and then disappear. I can only think of one bad story from him (the Batman black and white with Alan Scott) and even that was just merely ‘ok’. I think DC ought to print a collection of his work– it would be short, only 8-10 stories, but every one of them is fantastic.

A great pick, Brian. A few random comments:

1. didn’t Denny O’Neill do something slightly similar in POWER MAN AND IRON FIST? I seem to recall an issue where a despondent D.W. was talked out of taking drugs (Unbeknownst to him, the drug was improperly mixed and potentially lethal) by a shadowy stranger, whose identity was never explicitly revealed. Again, I seem to remember that some people speculated that it was a depressed Doctor Strange (This was around the time that Clea had returned to the Dark Dimension), but I don’t think that this was ever officially confirmed.

2. Has Alan Brennert ever written a bad story? Everything that he has written that I have read is rock-solid.

3. It is so odd seeing Deadman without his mask. Indeed, I am so used to seeing him with it on that I tend to forget that it is a mask.

Considering that Deadman is a ghost, that Kara removed his ghost-image to reveal the actual man underneath adds a dimension to the story. A tribute to her character – she sees underneath the masks and costumes to the real people underneath.

I read this after Crisis, after being a bit of a Supergirl fan for many years (I go back to the hot-pants days). Still have a snuffle at the artistry of the writing, the characterization, the message, and the sheer genius of the story.

[…] A Year of Cool Comics – Day 139 (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) […]

Not sure offhand if he’s ever spoken about it publicly, but this was the story that pretty much ended Mark Waid’s editorial career at DC.

Tom B


May 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Not sure offhand if he’s ever spoken about it publicly, but this was the story that pretty much ended Mark Waid’s editorial career at DC.

Tom B

Any particular reason why?

You can’t just leave us hanging like that!

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