Comic: "DC Universe Halloween Special 2008"
Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Various
Artist: Various

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 10/26/2008

Plot: Various Halloween themed stories involving the heroes and villains of the DC Universe, all narrated and introduced by the "ghost detectives" Ralph and Sue Dibney.

Review: It's pretty clear from the opening pages that DC didn't bother putting any of their best talent on this book, and the few good talents they did get obviously phoned it in for a paycheck. This thing was barely entertaining, and at least a few of the stories are so poorly told that I honestly couldn't even follow what the hell was going on. You also know you're in bad shape when the intro page written by the Editor-in-Chief has a glaringly obvious mistake such as having Sue Dibney say "we've returned tonight the tell all the stories..."

"Deadline: Halloween!" has Clark Kent jumping at shadows, apparently frightened of a ghost cursed to haunt the halls of the Daily Planet until he makes his final deadline. He (apparently?) possesses the body of Superman in order to finish his story and find peace. Yes, you read that correctly. The next "inspirational" tale, "Fear of the Dark", features Green Lantern Kyle Raynor facing some of his fears, which, if you've been reading any of the Green Lantern stories of the last year, is just a big unnecessary rehash of stuff we've seen before. Yawn.

"The Ballad of Jonathan Crane" puts Scarecrow in the place of Ichabod Crane with Batman as the Headless Horseman, after Crane accidentally doses himself with one of his fear toxins. "The Embrace" is about Felix Faust and his son, and your guess is as good as mine on this one. Apparently Felix has kidnapped some child and his son has been called in to stop him. The art and writing are so jumbled on this one I can't make any sense of it.

"One Last Halloween" has a couple of kids going into the sewer where they encounter a certain Dark Knight fighting Solomon Grundy, and we learn that apparently Batman keeps a stash of candy in his utility belt. You know, just in case. "Hell Hath No Fury" features the Demon Etrigan and a couple other demon characters I'm unfamiliar with, and once again, the story and art cooperate so poorly that I was completely lost.

"Scarred and Scared" opens with our tour guides Ralph and Sue Dibney standing outside Arkham Asylum as they introduce this tale, and Ralph actually says "that places scares me." Good to see that the editors are paying attention. He also comments about Arkham, saying "nothing escapes from those walls." Evidently he's never read a Batman story. Anyway, in this one, Two-Face saves the other Arkham inmates from a werewolf. Yes, I shit you not. "Role Model" features Vixen in such an embarrassingly clumsy commentary about race that I'd bet the farm the writer is about as white bread as they come.

And finally, in "The Elongated Halloween", Ralph and Sue are actually involved in the story as they solve a mystery nobody gives half a shit about. This is an oversized one-shot with a six dollar price tag which I bought solely so I could review on here. I'm all about supporting the industry, but DC really made me wish I had just downloaded a bit torrent of this. Follow the example of the kids on the cover and run as far as you can from this one.

Overall rating: Whole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Reptilus Rex
Oct 30th, 2008, 03:49 AM
Yeah, DC dropped the ball on this one. Never work with kids or animals, and also make sure your editors aren't buying pot from your writers.
Amicable Herculean
Oct 30th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Good, I waa considering getting this one. Thanks for the warning!
is hopped up on goofballs
Oct 30th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Two-Face saves the other Arkham inmates from a werewolf.
Wha?? Not the stupidest thing I've ever heard, but still very damn silly.
You'll thank me later...
Oct 30th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Really I've gotta say that anything featuring the ghosts of Ralph and Sue Dibney is probably going to be something you want to shy away from.
Oct 31st, 2008, 10:40 AM
I have come to the conclusion in the last year that anything featuring the DC logo that doesn't also have the Vertigo logo is something you should shy away from. Both DC and Marvel really seem to be going down hill lately.
Forum Virgin
Oct 31st, 2008, 01:39 PM
Anybody who doesn't love the very concept of "Ralph and Sue Dibney: Ghost Detectives" has no joy in their hearts.

Also, Two-Face fighting a werewolf walks that fine line of so many superhero stories, between ridiculous and badass. Appropriately enough for the character, it's both!
Nov 2nd, 2008, 06:32 AM
Why exactly would Two-Face bother saving anyone?
You'll thank me later...
Nov 2nd, 2008, 11:06 AM
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Why exactly would Two-Face bother saving anyone?
The Coin came up good heads, relax.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Nov 3rd, 2008, 09:33 PM
I would love to see this made into an extended criticism (a la "tales from the longbox")
John Freeman! Over here!
Nov 3rd, 2008, 11:30 PM
It may make some sick to there stomach but I have to admit the more crap that Marvel and DC pump out the more joy I get in life by reading and laughing at them. So in my opinion...keep it up boys!
Forum Virgin
Nov 5th, 2008, 06:49 PM
I just love how the kid dressed like superman have a head bigger than his upper body.