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The Greatest Christmas Stories Ever Told! – #18

The countdown continues with 1971′s “Silent Night, Deadly Night!,” from Batman #239 by Denny O’Neil, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano…

As an aside, this is sadly the only “Silen Night, Deadly Night!” on the countdown. Sorry, Steve Gerber fans!

In this story, drawn by the highly underrated Irv Novick, Batman is on the hunt for some guy who has been robbing Santa Clauses for a week or so. Eventually he captures the crook, who pleads his case to Batman…

Man, the expression by Batman in that last panel! Lordy, Novick was amazing.

Don’t let your guard down during his sob story, Batman!

After Batman comes to, he is tied down but manages to free himself, however he is “stuck” taking care of the man’s niece…

Isn’t that an awesome setup?

The big twist is that Tim decides not to kill Evans when Evans has a heart attack. So while Batman is still going to insist on Tim turning himself in, he’ll use Bruce Wayne’s influence to see that he gets a reduced sentence…

Cool ending, but what I don’t get is, isn’t it kind of a stretch to act like the guy was going to have a heart attack no matter what and Tim happened to save him? Doesn’t it seem more likely that Tim bursting into his home and ASSAULTING him was what induced the heart attack? It’s certainly possible that he was going to have a heart attack no matter what and if that is the case, then yes, he was lucky that Tim was there, but that’s FAR from a given, no? So that’s kind of a weird plot point. I think it would have made more sense if Tim had burst into Evans’ home with the INTENT to kill him but when he gets there, Evans has already had a heart attack and Tim has to choose whether to let him die or not.

10 Comments

And how did I leave off this one?
Novick and Adams made for some great Bat-art in that period.

I had this in a big book of reprints of DC comics superheroes. One of the earliest comics that I had, and I don’t know what happened to it. This was the only story I remembered from it in any detail. I’m in fact surprised by just how in detail I recalled this story without being able to recall anything about any of the others. Even the title stood out to me over 20 years later.

I decided I recalled this story fondly enough to make it my #2 vote.

Hmm, vanishing horse …..Batman should investigate this further, this Santa guy sounds kinda fishy.

I don’t think it’s that weird, actually. The point Evans makes in the story is that when he saw he was facing a sad, lonely guy and not a fiend, he couldn’t let him die. So I think it works either way.

nice love how batman figured out santa was the one who gave him his miracle then told tim have x-mas with betty even though batman came off as a ass telling tim well you could work and get a new job .

This one came really close to making my list (and would have if I’d stuck with my original plan of listing the 10 greatest Batman Christmas stories. Perhaps I’ll do that next year). Glad to see it made it without my support.

I don’t think it’s that weird, actually. The point Evans makes in the story is that when he saw he was facing a sad, lonely guy and not a fiend, he couldn’t let him die. So I think it works either way.

It works for his own personal growth, but my issue is that everyone else is giving him credit for saving the guy from a heart attack that he very likely caused himself!

Okay, fair point.

“Hmm, vanishing horse …..Batman should investigate this further, this Santa guy sounds kinda fishy.”

I can just see it now:

“Ho ho ho! Batman! What a pleasant surprise to see you all the way up here in the North Pole! And what would you like for Christmas this year?”

“JUSTICE!” ::Batman roundhouse kicks Santa in the face::

“All I wanted for Christmas as a boy… WAS FOR MY PARENTS TO NOT BE DEAD! Also, a Sega Genesis. Let’s just say, I played a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog.”

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