A Nice Holiday Surprise In DC’s Nuclear Winter Special #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Rip Hunter arrives on mid-21st Century Earth to find it a bombed-out wasteland. He is attacked by cannibals while recharging his Time Sphere, and he tells them stories from across the DC Multiverse to buy himself some time.

First, Batman of Earth-666 weathers the wasteland and his grandfather–Ras Al Ghul.

Then, Superman 1,000,000 delivers a present to J’onn J’onzz of Mars.

The Flash grasps with being tossed from Earth by a ploy from Reverse-Flash and the fact that he will never be able to go home again.

A pair of scientists find Aquaman and plead with him to find a kind of algea that may be able to soak up the radiation that has made the Earth uninhabitable for many.

Supergirl takes her adopted daughter up a mountain on the desolated Earth in the hopes of seeing the sun again.

Firestorm finds the Nuclear Family hiding out in an amusement park on the nuked-out Earth.

Kamandi braves a tribe of bears to find the place where the stars sing, and he gets help from a mother-son duo of peace-loving ursine.

Catwoman tries to teach her adopted daughter how to survive crises and only look out for herself.

Finally, an elderly Green Arrow returns to the Hall of Justice on invitation from Hawkman.

DC's Nuclear Winter Special #1 cover by Yannick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn
DC’s Nuclear Winter Special #1 cover by Yannick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn

I honestly expected to dislike the DC Nuclear Winter Special. It seemed like it would probably be gimmicky and high on cheap humor.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Each story was solid and flowed well in the small space allotted to them, and many had genuinely heartfelt moments in them.

Many of them were funny too. The Rip Hunter and Firestorm entries in particular were heavy on comedy, and many of the jokes landed pretty damn well.

My favorite out of the punch was probably the Green Arrow and Hawkman story, “The Birds of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.” In fairness, Carter and Ollie are my two favorite DC heroes, but, even then, the story was paced the best and was quite heartfelt. Supergirl’s “Last Daughters” came in close second.

DC's Nuclear Winter Special #1 art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and letterer Clayton Cowles
DC’s Nuclear Winter Special #1 art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and letterer Clayton Cowles

Each of the artistic teams put in damn good work too, with the stand outs being Christian Duce and Luis Guerrero in the Flash story, “Once and Future,” as well as Yasmine Putri and Tom Derenick in the “Last Daughters” Supergirl tale.

DC’s Nuclear Winter Special #1 was a pleasant surprise out of this week’s releases. It had some laughs, some emotion, and a lot of talented DC people coming together to make something both fun and, at times, surprisingly heavy. This one gets a recommendation if you can afford the $9.99 price tag. If that’s not too much for your budget, feel free to give it a read.

DC’s Nuclear Winter Special comes to us from writers Mark Russell, Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Steve Orlando, Jeff Loveness, Tom Taylor, Mairghread Scott, Paul Dini, Phil Hester, Cecil Castellucci, and Dave Wielgosz, artists Mike Norton, Giuseppe Camuncoli with Cam Smith, Brad Walker with Andrew Hennessy, Christian Duce, Tom Derenick with Yasmine Putri, Dexter Soy, Jerry Ordway, Phil Hester with Ande Parks, Amancay Nahuelpan, and Scott Kolins, color artists Hi-Fi, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Nathan Fairbairn, Luis Guerrero, Yasmine Putri, Veronica Gandini, Dave McCaig, Trish Mulvihill, Brian Buccellato, and John Kalisz, letterers Deron Bennett, Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano, Steve Wands, Dave Sharpe, and Josh Reed, and cover artist Yanick Paquette with Nathan Fairbairn.

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