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Review – New Year’s Evil #1 (DC Comics)

New Year's Evil #1 (DC Comics) cover (detail) by Jim Cheung
Overall
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8.5/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 8/10
    8/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
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New Year's Evil #1

Writers: Various
Artists: Various
Colors: Various
Letters: Various
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: December 4th, 2019

In DC’s New Year’s Evil #1, loyal readers are asking themselves “where do the bad guys go at Christmas?” It’s a collection of Yuletide holiday one-shots, guaranteed to fill your hearts with anarchy and Christmas cheer! 

Resolving to Be Badder in New Year’s Evil #1

The days of advent are upon us! Before we know it we’ll be saying “hello” to not only a new year but a new decade as well. So, to help keep your holidays merry and bright, DC Comics has released New Year’s Evil #1. It’s a collection of one-shot Yuletide shorts, each centered around a different aspect of the holiday season. Only this year there’s no Jim Gordon, no Batman perched on snowy rooftops. This year the folks at DC are asking their readers a different kind of question entirely: where do the “bad guys” go at Christmas?

Writing

New Year's Evil #1 (DC Comics) cover by Jim Cheung
New Year’s Evil #1 (DC Comics) cover by Jim Cheung

The first thing to take note of in New Year’s Evil #1 is what’s missing. Or, rather, who is missing. No Scott Snyder, no Jeph Loeb, James Tynion IV, Grant Morrison, Jonathan Williamson—you get my point. It would appear that DC is purposely leaving some of the most recognizable ornaments off of their shiny new rogue tree, opting instead for some lesser-known “Batmen” (and Batwomen) to don the cowl. It’s a refreshing breath of winter air. With each new citizen of Gotham city comes a new perspective and insight into the characters we know and love. Beyond exposing readers to new creators, what makes New Year’s Evil #1 fundamentally enjoyable is the heartwarming notion that even the darkest and baddest members of society have their moments of goodness. 

Whether it’s Poison Ivy lending a green thumb to help a fellow rogue to quit smoking or Harley Quinn lighting up the lonely existence of one of Gotham’s finest, New Year’s Evil #1 reminds us that the holidays aren’t just a time for celebration. They’re also about redemption. When that ball starts to drop at 11:59 PM New Year’s Eve, we all have a chance to start over. It’s just a matter of asking ourselves “who do I want to be?”

Art

It’s rare to see such a smorgasbord of artists and colorists fit so uniformly over a collection of 84 pages. No two styles are alike, yet there is flow—continuity, even. Picking a favorite becomes quite a difficult task because each has its own inherent qualities that shaped the tone and story for each specific rogue. That’s what helps to make Gotham City such a truly magical and wonderful place: it’s always in a state of flux and rebirth. This is certainly the case in New Year’s Evil #1. It boasts some of the most talented artists and creators that you’ve never heard of (or at least may not be as familiar with). 

Conclusion

Where do the “bad guys” go at Christmas? It sounds like the opening line of a cheesy Christmas carol. I can almost picture Bing Crosby mulling it over, scotch in hand, as he sits alone by a piano, gazing out into a cold winter’s night. That’s the power of the holidays. They make us stop, think, and re-evaluate where we are and where we’re headed—if only for a moment. All of us possess goodness, even those that our society has deemed as being “bad” or—if I may be so bold—naughty. New Year’s Evil #1 is about casting off our doubts and redefining our perspectives. To free ourselves from judgment and allow ourselves to see the good hidden in the bad. Who knows, maybe if we, as readers, can suspend our disbelief and preconceived notions when it comes to comic books, it will have a trickle-down effect in our real lives as well.   


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Jordan Claes

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