Comic: "Infinite Halloween Special #1"
Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Various
Artist: Various

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 10/15/2009

Plot: A bunch of villains in Arkham Asylum sit around and tell crappy so-called scary stories to each other.

Review: When a 70-page Halloween special boasts "13 Tales of Terror" on the cover, you have to be expecting that the stories aren't going to be very good. The longest story in the book is about six pages, the shortest is a mere two pages. Not exactly proper time to lay any groundwork or build the tension so necessary to horror. So even the stories by good creative teams suffer from simple lack of space, and many of them don't even attempt to be scary.

The stories are framed by the inmates of Arkham Asylum having killed the guards and sitting around telling each other "spooky" stories. It's explained that they're not fleeing because they're waiting for the guards to change shifts at midnight, at which point the massive security doors out front will open for them and they can just waltz right out. Sure, whatever.

Scarecrow kicks things off, telling a story about some college kids who inject some of his terror drugs into Halloween candy and pass it out, only to receive their come-uppance at the hands of Zatanna. Two-Face then tells a tale of a group of werewolf vigilantes who call themselves "The Watchdogs". Oooooh! Werewolves who fight crime! Scaaaaary!

Mad Hatter then tells of the vampire Batman of Earth-43, in a story that's so disjointed it makes no fucking sense whatsoever, and was just downright painful to read. I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Phobia then tells a story about the time she scared "the main man" Lobo, which basically boils down to a cheesy gag at the end (SPOILER! It's a puppy! The thing that scares Lobo most is a cute puppy! Oh ho ho, I must be twelve to find that funny). Then a young Aquaman sentences a trio of witches to a watery grave to be killed by their drowned, malformed children in a yarn spun by Doctor Destiny.

Victor Zsasz tells a pointless two page story about Frankenstein that if you blink you'll miss, and then the Riddler tells an annoying story of Batzarro and Bizarro. Despite the short length of this story, you will be glad when it's over, because those two characters interacting is the most annoying, headache-inducing thing you will ever experience.

Poison Ivy tells a story about Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane coming across a shipping crate of zombies that Superman banishes to the moon; Clayface tells a tell of a young Clark Kent encountering a prankster who cries wolf one time too many; Lady Flash then tells a chilling tale of how the Flash's grandfather isn't really dead like he thought, but rather he's traveling across different dimensions and having the time of his life (ooooooh! Scaaaary!).

Shockwave (not the Transformer) tells a story of two men (who are obviously supposed to be a grown-up Charlie Brown and Linus) who summon an evil pumpkin monster to kill the Blue Devil; Killer Croc talks of the time he met Resurrection Man, who he killed and ate and then barfed up and got eaten by. And then finally, in the end, we see that Deadman had possessed the Joker, causing him to convince the other villains to go along with the stupid "sit around and wait instead of escaping" plan, which of course causes them all to get captured again.

The stories are highly unsatisfying, due to their truncated length, the weakness of the subject matter, and the fact that many of them aren't even remotely trying to be scary (super heroes rarely send chills down my spine, save for certain instances of ill-advised spandex). It also doesn't make sense that many of these villains are telling stories of heroes they have no connection to and would never have interacted with during their lives. Add all that to the $5.99 cover price and you've got yourself a comic destined for the dumpster. This is an utter waste of your time and money.

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

Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Oct 15th, 2009, 12:09 PM
How does Clayface know Clark Kent?

Also, holy shit someone mentioned Resurrection Man?
hanging out
Oct 15th, 2009, 02:37 PM
as riveting as Killer Croc's story from "Almost Got'im" Batman TAS
Member OfThe Pigmask Army
Oct 15th, 2009, 06:19 PM
I love the look of Skele- I mean Dr. Destiny on the cover. I imagine him saying "WHY THE FUCK ARE THERE FLOATING SEVERED HEADS?! Oh god, I'm shouldn't be sitting next to Scarecrow..."
Forum Virgin
Oct 16th, 2009, 04:34 PM
i guess i'll stick with blackest night for my superhero horror fix.
Oct 17th, 2009, 10:05 AM
OooOoOOooO SpoOoOooOky
An Arizona Horror Company
Oct 19th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Ah, dammit. Was sorta hoping this would amount to something. Sounds like a pretty complete misfire though. Arkham Asylum is, itself, such a great character, and it's always under-utilized or used ineptly. The BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM video game was probably the first time the asylum's tone has been captured just right.
Oct 23rd, 2009, 03:11 PM
Didnt Paul Dini already write a story like this titled "Almost Got Im'" 14 years ago on Batman The Animated Series?