New Year's Evil #1 Review

by Jay Hill on December 04, 2019

Written by: Gabriel Hardman & Corrina Bechko, Kenny Porter, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Jim Krieg, Dan Watters, Ram V., Christos Gage, Dave Weilgosz, Kurt Busiek, Vita Ayala

Art by: Gabriel Hardman, Ramon Villalobos, Sumit Kumar, Aneke, Alessandro Vitti, Anthony Spay & Jon Sibal, Karl Mostert, Cian Tormey, Dale Eaglesham, Elena Casagrande

Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth, Tamra Bonvillain, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Hi-Fi, Adriano Lucas, Jeromy Cox, Luis Guerrero, Dave McCaig, Mike Atiyeh, Jordie Bellaire

Lettered by: Steve Wands, Tom Napolitano, Clayton Cowles, Wes Abbott, Gabriela Downie, Troy Peteri, Travis Lanham, Alex Antone, Todd Klein, Dave Sharpe

Published by: DC Comics

2019 was DC’s Year of the Villain. In this book, the bad guys are attempting to make sure the new year kicks off the same way.

Being an anthology comic, each story focuses on a different character, but besides having the holiday theme in common, each story, for the most part, explores the villains on a more personal level. This leads to some intriguing, unique, and heartwarming tales. The Sinestro and Black Adam stories give the characters a touch of humanity while also showing the characters going about these tasks in a way only a villain would. The highlight of the more heartwarming ideas is Ares’ story. It gives him a vulnerability that makes you feel for the character while showing his crude ways of righting a wrong he was responsible for. Chronos’ story also excels in showing some sympathy for the character. He gets to act as a sort of ghost of Christmas past, present, and future all at once. But, for me, it is Kurt Busiek’s Prankster story that steals the show as far as storytelling goes. Like the best of the stories in the book, it stays true to the character while weaving a short entertaining holiday tale. It doesn't attempt to humanize him like some of the other stories, but it may be the best one to utilize the short-form format it was given. It gives you three distinct beats of the story and leaves you with an ending that sticks. The Harley Quinn story may be my second favorite. It is understated which says something since it deals with such a flamboyant character. Renee Montoya is used excellently in the story to play the "straight man" for Harley's antics. And the end wraps the book up with a nice bow. 

The art shares many changes that keep it feeling fresh and complements each story's different feel. The Poison Ivy tale has a modern aesthetic at home with the almost sitcom feeling narrative. The Joker story has a dark gothic feeling apt for the city it takes place in. One of the best pairings is the art of the Toymaker’s story. The art style and palette go perfectly with the story told and the villain focused on. The Sinestro story has some of the most nuanced art in the book. The lines and coloring blend wonderfully to take this festive intergalactic story to new heights. But my highlight was the art in the Haley Quinn tale. Elena Casagrande's art is beautiful and expressive. It is brimming with life and does the great writing more than justice. It has a quality that makes everything drawn pop off the pages, undoubtedly helped by Jordie Bellaire's colors. Bellaire is one of the best working now, and she and Casagrande illustrate the light show that ends the book gorgeously.

This is the perfect DC book for the holidays. It’s sure to have at least one story for everyone, and, for me, it featured more than enough fun tales to get me to recommend this to any comic book fan.

Our Score:


A Look Inside