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Day 1 in the Popverse Comics Advent Calendar 2022

Get the jump on a new holiday tradition with the help of a curiously apathetic Dark Knight

Popverse Advent Calendar Day 1

Every day of December counting down to Christmas Day, Popverse is hijacking the grand tradition of the Advent Calendar to share a moment from a holiday comic of yore. What else could you want from a classic combination of comic books and the yuletide gaze? Today, it’s the turn of 1978’s The Brave and The Bold #148 — a story called, wonderfully, 'The Night The Mob Stole Xmas!' (Yes, the exclamation point is part of the title.)

Popverse Advent Calendar Day 1
Image credit: DC

Sure, these days everyone thinks of Batman as the Dark Knight of Gotham that never sleeps, and never rests in his tireless quest for justice, but things were different back in the day. Look, here’s the Caped Crusader telling Commissioner Gordon that he would take care of business, but he really needs to handle that all-important holiday shopping list first. Look, the '70s Batman knew how to prioritize — especially when he was written by the great Bob Haney, who’s responsible for this issue’s script. (Art comes from Joe Staton and Jim Aparo, with the latter’s inks really overwhelming the former’s traditional clean lines.)

Don’t worry for the Commissioner too much, though; the very next page of the comic shows that Batman’s “shopping list” is actually a list of informants he’s shaking down across the city for the case, for all the good that it does him. “Please, Batman… even if I knew, I’d be one dead stole if I told ya!” Benny sweats in one particular panel. Guess some people are just naturally hard to shop for.

As for the mob stealing Christmas… they don’t manage to get away with the whole thing, but they do successfully steal the Christmas display from department store Lacey’s, because they want their boss to have the best Christmas party ever. No, really. If this all feels a little over the top, just enjoy the fact that Batman yells “You don’t want to be a Scrooge!” while taking down a bad guy in the issue’s climactic fight.

Want more? You can read the entire issue in The Brave and the Bold #148, available via Comixology and DC Universe Infinite.

Graeme McMillan

Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.


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