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Saturday, December 21, 2013

EDITORIAL: Top Holiday Themed Comic Book TV Series Episodes You Should Watch This Season!

Hey folks! This week's Editorial is a bit more relevant to the Holiday Season than they have been the past few weeks as today I'm going to tell you which Holiday-themed episodes of your favorite (both live action and animated) comic book television series episodes you should watch before the 25th! So, let's get started!

10. Arrow, Season 1 Episode 9 "Year's End"

Arrow's first Christmas episode is also a must-watch for any fan of both Arrow and Christmas. Although not a Christmas episode first, there is still a Christmas party, gift-exchanging, and more holiday festivities. However, for this episode you almost have to see the previous eight in order to understand it completely, though if you watch it all by itself you should be okay... The reason it's so low on this list is because it's an episode of Arrow before being a Christmas episode, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining!

In this episode, Oliver tries to track down a copycat vigilante known as the Dark Archer, which ends up ruining his Christmas. Meanwhile, Tommy asks Laurel to spend Christmas with him but Laurel wants to spend it with her father as Christmas was her sister Sara's birthday before she "died".

9. Young Justice, Season 1 Episode 26 "Auld Acquaintance"

Although this episode, like Arrow's above, isn't so much a Christmas episode, it is a Holiday episode (sort-of) in the sense that it takes place on New Year's Eve and ends on January 1st of the next year. Like Arrow above, you sort of have to see the previous 25 episodes to understand the pay-off, but if you just want some good superhero action and some nice New Years Eve moments, this is definitely the episode for you!

In this episode, The Team learns the identity of the traitor in their midst and head to the Watchtower to confront him, only he's not who's waiting for them there as they'll have to face an enemy more dangerous than ever before.

8. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Season 2 Episode 9 "Season's Greetings"

Luckily I have a few good live-action comic book television series Christmas episodes... The next one on this list is Lois & Clark's "Season's Greetings", which is just a pure, fun Christmas episode where Superman gets to show off his Christmas spirit! Plus, it's written by Dean Cain (who played Superman on this series) too!

In this episode, Toyman is fired from his job and creates Atomic Space Rats which causes everyone to be more greedy and adults to act like children.

7. Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Season 1 Episode 5 "Invasion of the Secret Santas!"

How could we leave this one out? Batman rides a reindeer for goodness sakes! If that alone doesn't get you interested I'm not sure what will... This episode is great because it pits Batman up against his past and, along with Red Tornado, is shown how to celebrate Christmas in the present. Real heart-warming episode this one is.

In this episode, Batman takes care of Sportsmaster with Blue Beetle and then teams-up with Red Tornado to stop villain Fun Haus from ruining Christmas.

6. Human Target, Season 2 Episode 6 "The Other Side of The Mall"

If you have never in your life watched an episode of Human Target there are two things I will say before I continue. 1. Why? It's an amazing show with an amazing cast and best of all it's by DC Comics! Secondly, (2.) you don't have to watch any previous episodes of the series in order to see this episode. The cool thing about Human Target is that they have an over-arching story throughout the two seasons of the series, however they play it out at a slow but exciting pace. Meaning that this series, unlike most now-a-days, is a more case-by-case show, which works perfectly for their first and only Christmas episode!

In this episode, Christopher Chance and his team are hired by a man who told the FAD about some business practices that his company is up to, after which he believes his life is in danger. Meanwhile, Ames, one of Chance's team-members, is assigned to the man's son and helps him try to win over the heart of a school girl who has a crush on. Also, Chance and Ilsa awkwardly try to avoid Christmas.

5. The New Batman Adventures, Season 1, Episode 1/Batman: The Animated Series, Season 4 Episode 1 "Holiday Knights"

Serving as both the premiere for The New Batman Adventures while also being the return of Batman: The Animated Series, "Holiday Knights" is for sure a Holiday classic! With enough heroes and villains to keep you satisfied for 22 minutes, this episode is actually three stories in one! This episode is great fun and definitely warms your spirit for the Holiday season.

In this episode, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy kidnap Bruce Wayne to go on a Christmas shopping spree, Batgirl faces Clayface in a shopping mall while buying a present for her father before Christmas, and Batman & Robin (Tim Drake) stop the Joker from killing everyone on New Year's Eve!

4. Justice League, Season 2 Episode 23 "Comfort and Joy"

The only stand-alone aka one-part episode of Justice League before the show turned into Justice League Unlimited, "Comfort and Joy" is one of my favorite episodes of this series. Unfortunately, Batman (who is stated to be on monitor duty) and Wonder Woman are not featured, but the characters who are are just as good. In this episode, we see how Superman celebrates Christmas with his parents as he invites Martian Manhunter with him, we see what The Flash does during his Christmas time, and we also get to see how Hawkgirl likes to celebrate the holiday as she drags Green Lantern across the galaxy. This really is a great episode and definitely one that everyone should see before the season's over.

In this episode, the League takes Christmas off after saving the world once again. The Flash races back to Central City where he asks kids at the orphanage what they would like for Christmas, he also battles Ultra-Humanite. Green Lantern and Hawkgirl get into a massive snow-ball fight until they decide to go to an alien bar on a distant moon. Superman takes Martian Manhunter to his home in Smallville, Kansas to celebrate the holiday with his parents.

3. The Spectacular Spider-Man, Season 2 Episode 3 "Reinforcement" 

As a huge fan of Spectacular Spider-Man, I just had to put this episode on the list! This is also the only thing Marvel-wise that I have on my list, which is sad, but unfortunately (or is it fortunately?) DC does the best Christmas/holiday episodes out there... However, this episode is really nice a great look at Peter Parker's life during the holiday season. 

In this episode, the Sinister Six return in the form of Sandman, Rhino, Vulture, Electro, Mysterio, and Kraven and they want Spidey's head for Christmas! Meanwhile, Peter tries to get together with Gwen but his double-life continues to get in the way.

2. Smallville, Season 5 Episode 9 "Lexmas"

Continuing with the classic "It's A Wonderful Life" tradition, this episode of Smallville has an interesting twist on the classic Christmas tale. "Lexmas" is a great episode because it follows the Christmas's of both Clark Kent and Lex Luthor and shows both characters for who they are deep down inside. Also, we have Santa Claus, as in the real Santa Claus, which is also fun.

In this episode, Lex falls into a coma in which his mother shows him how his life could go if he chooses not to dig up dirt on Jonathan Kent for the Senatorial race. Meanwhile, Clark helps deliver presents to those who couldn't get them themselves.

1. Batman: The Animated Series, Season 1 Episode 2 "Christmas with the Joker"

You all knew this one was coming, the by-far best Christmas-themed episode in all of Batman, comic book, and animation history, "Christmas with the Joker"! This episode always makes me laugh, smile, and appreciate the Christmas season. Again, "It's A Wonderful Life" is featured, or at least mentioned, as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson celebrate Christmas. But before they can do that, they have to save Joker's hostages so that they can have a Merry Christmas as well. Also, the whole "Jingle bells, Batman smells..." song, that actually comes from this episode, I guess it just caught on!

In this episode, Joker escapes Arkham Asylum on Christmas Eve only to spend it kidnapping people and trying to kill Batman & Robin. Unfortunately for the Clown Prince of Crime, Batman is determined to stop him as Robin just wants to spend the holidays in-doors.

So there you have it folks! That's this week's Editorial, we shall see if I'll do one next weekend or not, but at least I got one out this week! Before I go I do want to recommend three more Christmas-themed episodes of two of my favorite TV shows that are, unfortunately not comic based (although DC Comics has published tie-in books to both shows). They are as follows

Chuck, Season 2 Episode 11 "Chuck vs Santa Claus"

Chuck, Season 5 Episode 7 "Chuck vs the Santa Suit"

Supernatural, Season 3 Episode 8 "A Very Supernatural Christmas"

and finally, I want to recommend one comedic movie that superhero fans can enjoy as well as non-superhero fans, which is the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Jingle All The Way.

Anyway, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!

Michael J. Petty

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Senior Editorial Editor on SMN, I also work as an Administrator on Across the Airwaves Productions and as a Staff Writer on the Superman Homepage. I enjoy movies, comics, television, music, and long walks on the beach. Just because he's on the side of the angels, don't think for one second that he's one of them.