Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

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Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby Red_Robin » Dec 7th, 2011, 3:34 pm

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The Christmas edition of Treasure Chest Comics will be a little different. Designed to follow a traditional Christmas dinner, I bring you a look at a Christmas cracker of a story, DarkFlux delivers the turkey with all the trimmings and finally I let you play with your toys whilst the grown-ups eat Christmas Pudding.

Sleigh Ride
by Red_Robin

Paul Dini's Detective Comics #826 followed his 'done in one' pattern and delivered a full story in 22 pages. We open on Tim Drake's Robin being fired upon by gun-runners. He trashes his bike to save his skin. Luckily a passer by opens his car door to help him escape. Unluckily, the driver is the Joker, who gases Robin as soon as he looks inside.
Robin wakes up tightly bound in the passenger seat. What follows is a battle of wills as the Joker forces Robin to watch as he runs innocent pedestrians down.

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As Robin looks for something to aid his escape, he spots something horrifying on the back seat and is givenfalse hope, only for the Joker to rip it away.

Eventually, he finds something to distract the Joker from his merry murder spree; quoting the marx brothers. Robin is adamant that the Joker has the wrong film which makes the Joker angry and gives Robin his chance.

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Needless to say, Robin manages to fight his way loose and subdue the Joker, though perhaps not in the way you'd think. Dini turns the 60s cliche of 'Robin gets taken hostage' on it's head and shows why no-one in their right mind would try to take him hostage. Joker's self-obession is ultimately his downfall, as he can't concieve that he could be wrong. He doesn't find being wrong funny.

This seasonal jaunt subverts everything that a Christmas tale should be. There is no talk of religion or good will, just death, terror and a fight for life.

Avengelyne Issues 1-3; Devil in the Flesh
by DarkFlux

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After I was asked to contribute something to the Christmas Day edition of Treasure Chest Comics I hit a bit of an obstacle, in that I don’t have any favourite comics that happens to be Christmas stories :/

Instead I’ve decided to talk about the first arc of the new Avengelyne book, an independent series from Image Comics. Whilst not a favourite of mine, it is a series I am coming to enjoy more and more and I’d like to take this opportunity to spread the work about this overlooked book.

…and it takes place at Christmas :)

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But first, a quick rundown on Avengelyne for those not in the know!
Created in 1995 by famed comic book creator Rob Liefeld as part of his Extreme Universe, Avengelyne is an angel and a general in God’s army “the Warhost.” After falling out of favour with God by questioning his love for humans, she is cast down to Earth to live among mortals and to learn the value of God’s love.
Scared and alone, she is taken in by Father Peter, a priest at the New Church of the People, and fights alongside her allies Passover (another warrior angel of the Warhost), Devlin (a half-human, half demon government agent) and various other strange characters against the evil forces of The Red Dragon, his Demon Lords and the creatures of hell.

In this new series, we are introduced to two new characters; serial killer Ned Crowly, a rather reserved and elderly man who fancies himself to be a demon named Torment and Heaven Starr, a dancer at a rundown strip club.

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Through an odd turn of events Heaven seems to develop a sudden bout of amnesia, unable to remember who or where she is. Dazed and confused, she wonders the streets and finds her way to her apartment where after meeting roommate Teagen and boyfriend Jared, the situation only exasperates.

Meanwhile, Avengelyne herself seems to also be acting out of sorts.

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See! I told you this was a Christmas story.

Eventually, all three characters find their way to Father Peter at the New Church of the People.
But who is Heaven? Whats wrong with Avengelyne? Is Ned Crowly more than he seems? And just how is the Red Dragon involved?

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I must admit that Avengelyne is a series that took a while to click with me. I think it maybe that I went in expecting a different kind of book.

This is not a serious book. There’s none of the grim demeanour of other biblical war books such as Spawn, nor the brooding superheroics of Batman. Neither is it a fully flung funny book. Its not a childrens book, its not Shakespeare. So…what is it?

Well, it’s a “fun” book. A “switch off your brain” book. A book where a half naked angel chick fights a stripper and a short balding mole-looking guy eviscerates Santa. Its…dare I say it, a 90’s book. But in no way is that a bad thing.

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Writer Mark Poulten does a great job of infusing the players with character. The first arc has simple premise but it’s delivered with a fun loving, humerous and light hearted gusto despite the rather dark subject matter. He does a great job of introducing new readers to the series and helpfully provides additional “Extreme Origins” back up stories to fill new readers in on the past of certain characters.

Owen Gienis art is a real highlight, the anime-esque, bright and detailed visuals invoke an almost animation style, something which contrasts well with the hyper violence and sometimes sinister themes.

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Avengelyne is a great reboot of a onetime typical “Extreme Bad Girl” 90’s book. Its vivid, action packed, has a cool mythology and is a straightforward yet entertaining read. And sometimes, in these times of uber-mega events, criss-crossing continuity and philosophical infused narratives, that’s all I want from a comic book.

(Also worth noting that Avengelyne is the first title to kick off the Extreme Studios wide line relaunch coming next year :D Prophet! Glory! Bloodstrike! Supreme! Youngblood!!!)
Happy Holidays!

DCU Holiday Bash '97-'99
by Red_Robin

I was going to write about many of the stories contained within, such as Nightwing and Oracle on New Year's Eve, The Flash running around the globe trying to remember what Linda wanted for Christmas, Wonder Woman knocking Artemis around for a present or Kyle Rayner and Conner Hawke stopping a killing and riot during their Christmas shopping. Instead, here are some of my favourite pages from the three anthologies (click on the images for full view).

Merry Christmas.

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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby GeneralSmashy » Dec 23rd, 2011, 8:36 pm

Sleigh Ride is one of my favourite Dini stories ever. He writes the Joker better than anybody.
Great article, Red_Robin. Merry Christmas, everybody! :adam:
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby DarkFlux » Dec 23rd, 2011, 9:04 pm

I did it Ma! Im a journalist in the big city!

*cough*

Nice article RR,
Ill have to check out some of those Holiday Bash specials, WW vs Artemis is always fun :)
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby MaxSchreck » Dec 23rd, 2011, 9:53 pm

Wow , that Darkseid Christmas story is hilarious :oldyella:
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby johnsyggel » Dec 23rd, 2011, 10:26 pm

Slayride is fantastic.Good one,Red_Robin!!!
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby TFDutchman » Dec 23rd, 2011, 10:28 pm

Great one. I especially like the "Just Another Night" page. Plus Avengelyne sounds interesting enough. I might have to look and see if it's something I might be interested in. Great work guys!
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby theawesomejuan » Dec 24th, 2011, 4:52 am

OMFG SANTA!

that was gross.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby Croc » Dec 24th, 2011, 1:31 pm

theawesomejuan wrote:OMFG SANTA!

that was gross.

I was thinking that too, when I saw that picture.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby BobGun » Dec 24th, 2011, 7:03 pm

Great stuff, guys!

RR, Slayride is one of my all time favourites, and I was just thinking how apt it would've been for this thread, and there it is!

Aww, you've got to love how Bruce mentally tortures Alfred over a Christmas card and present in "Just Another Night"...I bet he had a wee chuckle to himself in the Batmobile...
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby CROD » Dec 25th, 2011, 1:44 am

Awesome read guys.

Never heard of Avengelyne. Looks pretty cool. I'll have to check it out.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby gary2692 » Jan 2nd, 2012, 2:40 pm

I thought this as a BATMAN website not evrything

-- Jan 2nd, 2012, 2:41 pm --

i mean everything.co.uk

-- Jan 2nd, 2012, 2:41 pm --

sorry a bit abbusive sorry red robin

-- Jan 2nd, 2012, 2:41 pm --

change
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #5: Christmas Tales

Postby Thegoddamnbatman » Jan 2nd, 2012, 3:45 pm

gary2692 wrote:I thought this as a BATMAN website not evrything

-- Jan 2nd, 2012, 2:41 pm --

i mean everything.co.uk

-- Jan 2nd, 2012, 2:41 pm --

sorry a bit abbusive sorry red robin

-- Jan 2nd, 2012, 2:41 pm --

change

Stop spamming and read the announcement of Tresure-Trest.
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