Picked up this GREAT Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1 for a buck quite some time ago, and was delighted by what I read when I finally got a moment to read it. The cover alone was worth the price of admission! It's dated Jan. 1995, but wonder if it came out in Dec. of '94. I already have February 2014 issues from Marvel and DC!
Things start off right in the first story "Jolly Ol' St. Nicholas" when Barbara Gordon stumbles into Officers Montoya and Bullock undercover at Mayfield department store. On the lookout for a robbery suspect that's been plaguing the establishment, Bullock makes a hilariously bad Santa, and Barbara decides to stick around in case they need any help from Batgirl!
Sure enough, the slippery thief turns out to be the shapeshifting Clayface, caught red handed by Barbara Gordon, who required the assist from officers Montoya and Bullock. Love that Batgirl- she sometimes gets in over her head, but what a brave soul!
"The Harley & The Ivy" finds Bruce Wayne captive of two of Batman's mischievous rogues, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, who drugged the billionaire bachelor with tainted lipstick. A whirlwind shopping trip ensues, Wayne helpless and drugged, a victim of their every whim.
Wayne manages to get away long enough to muster his self control and don the cowl, giving chase after the fugitive females. After a rough and tumble of two against one, Batman finally captures them with a Christmas tree- a glittering fascination to the Jewish Harley, and humiliating trap to Poison Ivy, self-proclaimed defender of plant life.
"White Christmas" is essentially a retelling of Mr. Freeze's origins, told around his escape from Arkham during the holiday season. Long incarcerated without incident, Mr. Freeze's disappearance perplexes the Dark Knight, doubly curious about the sudden blizzard that's swept over Gotham on Christmas Eve.
After a struggle in the snow, Batman corners the cold criminal, sudden pity interrupting his assault. When asked why he would terrorize the town for the holiday, the sullen man points to the grave of his late wife. The once brilliant inventor encapsulated his wife's body in a cryogenic state to buy her time in the fight against terminal cancer, but lost her due to a a corporate intervention, and became the dread Mr. Freeze in the struggle when exposed to his own super coolant. "We were married ten years ago on a snowy Christmas Eve. Nora loved the snow." the villain tenderly recalled, "I thought it... sad there should be none this year. And I wouldn't want my Nora to be sad tonight."
In "...What are you doing on New Years Eve?!" the tag team pencilling duo Kevin Altieri and Butch Lukic take Bruce Timm's dark deco style to another level, their urban crowd scenes particularly impressive. They also inked it pretty heavily, making the drawings really constrasty.
Joker takes to the air waves to invite Batman to a New Year's Eve of destruction, unaware that Batman is onto his plan to sonically stun the crowd he's gathered in Gotham Square! The Clown Prince of Crime corners the Dark Knight at gunpoint, but gets his bell rung instead! Awesome!
This was an outstanding holiday special I'd recommend to any Batman: The Animated fan! Bruce Timm worked a great deal on this, handling the cover duties, pencilling /inking/coloring the Batgirl/Clayface story, and sharing writing duties with author Paul Dini on a couple as well. See more info on DCwikia.Com! The original inked drawing by Bruce Timm, found at ComicArtFans.Com:
Thanks For Reading & Happy Holidays!