House of Horror 8 - Winter Specials/Harley's Crew Crossover! (December 3-16)

Greetings everyone! Welcome to the newest House of Horror entry! To celebrate the insane snowfall that I have just experienced Monday I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at the Winter Specials that are horror-themed. These are longer books but they should be a lot of fun!

The first book we have is DC Nuclear Winter Special 1. I might be stretching the horror theme a bit for this issue but it is described as “living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (or, you know, 2018) the world can seem bleaker than ever.” That sounds pretty horrific to me! We are also promised to see “the futures of Batman, Superman, and the Flash, as well as many more denizens of the DC Universe.” This only makes me more excited for Future State in January!

DC Nuclear Winter Special 1 (2018) (rated 15+)

Our second book is another long book but I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce Swamp Thing to the House of Horror. Have no fear, we will be taking a deep dive into Swamp Thing where we will explore some of the Alan Moore series. Without further adieu, we will be reading Swamp Thing Winter Special 1.

Swamp Thing Winter Special 1 (2018) (rated 12+)

Considering that we have two books that are longer we will close out this entry with House of Mystery (2008) 9 and 10.

House of Mystery 9 (2008) (rated 17+)

House of Mystery 10 (2008) (rated 17+)

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If you are new and would like to catch up on what we have read you can check out the House of Horror library here !

There are a few new horror comics hitting comic store shelves this week! We might not be reading the books right away and some of them might even be discussed in other clubs upon release. Think of this as a preview of what might be lurking in the dark corners of House of Horror.

Released 12/1
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Graphic Novels
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Digital Releases
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Released 12/8
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:+1:

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I don’t know how, :smile: but I just noticed the “Kalikimaka” in your name @Kon-El-Kalikimaka :raised_hands: Thats awesome! Best holiday handle so far. :purple_heart:

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:slight_smile:

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Reading Swamp Thing Winter Special the page count seemed daunting at first. However, before I knew it I was 100% engrossed in the first story. There is something to be said about the isolation that is horrific and while this story was released in 2018 it feels very poignant to be reading in the winter of 2020. Watching Swamp Thing carry and care for the boy as he continues to weaken created an urgent situation for Swampy and the last moments of that story were heartbreaking, even with a happy ending.

The second story is the last Swamp Thing story written by Len Wein before he passed away. The story is presented without text as Len Wein did not finish it, however, the script/outline is included. It is interesting to see the work and ideas put into a comic. I will admit I would never think at that level about a character, let alone a story.

I would also like to add that I think the soundtrack from John Carpenter’s The Thing would fit perfectly while reading this issue.

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@HouseofHorror

We are partnering with Harley’s Crew for Swamp Thing in a Winter Special club crossover!!!

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Hello, party people. Moth here. Representing Harley’s Crew to discuss the Swamp Thing Winter Special.

I’m going to start by saying I haven’t read much Tom King, but that should probably change because I liked his opening story a lot. The thing that I liked the most about it is that it wasn’t readily apparent what was happening in the story. The plot wasn’t force-fed to you. There was no evil scientist in the third act telling you, “This is how my death ray worked all along.” To a degree, the plot was left to interpretation. In my humble opinion, that’s what separates art from entertainment. Entertainment tells you what it wants you to feel. Art gives you the picture and asks you to tell it what it meant to you.

Here’s what this story meant to me (avoiding spoilers as much as possible since I’m a guest here):

The story is well-structured. Book-ended by a sports metaphor, it takes you through the dog-days of a frozen winter up to the beautiful release of spring. Why? What’s it all mean?

In life, there are doors that will close for you. There are opportunities that you won’t make the most of. There are things you will want to be that you will not become. There are ways that you saw yourself that will not be reflected by reality. There are dreams that will die.

And, sadly enough, that’s not the monster. That’s not winter. The true monster, the true winter comes when you hold on to that dead dream anyway. It’s when you grasp it tight and flee from the truth like a refugee. That’s when the long winter begins. That’s when you feel the torment. That’s when you face the monster that you created. You brought yourself to this frozen wasteland, but the good news is that all you need to do is…

…let go…

…and when you do then winter is over. The monster is gone. Everything thaws and… it’s spring and…things can grow… and you grow too.

So, yeah, good story.

I liked the art to the Len Wein script, too. Always great to see Solomon Grundy (who is also connected to The Green. See Starman #34). It was a lovely tribute to a comic legend.

That’s it from me. Thanks for the invite, House of Horror!

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Welcome to House of Horror @TheCosmicMoth! Feel free to drop by whenever you feel like it.

I do agree with you regarding King’s writing in this book. Once the ending happened I was not ready for it. This is one of those books that hit me in an emotional level, very unexpectedly.

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@TheCosmicMoth & @darkstarz I know I/we’re not alone in finding this story beautiful. This is actually the 2nd time I’ve read it, so I’m happy you liked it!
I do enjoy getting an emotional sucker-punch and dissecting metaphor (something always great about Swampy). Here we have to empathize and grapple w/ defining what we choose to protect and why. And I loved it! Especially every single thing happening visually in the last few pages (41-43). Overall, a very fitting tribute…which admittedly, made it difficult to keep going both times. (And I :100: agree that art lets you define it, and “entertainment” ends up defining you.)

I’m short on time, so I’m hoping to come back to add more, but for now, I just wanted to say: thank you for this. :point_down: Facts, you write! :seedling::purple_heart: And thank you for inviting us!

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I love it when comics take me by surprise. Maybe I am more emotional than normal thanks to the umm great year we have had. Superman: Up In The Sky hit me in the same way, especially the last book. There is a lot that can be said about comics but when they hit me in the gut is what I need to remind myself why I love this medium of entertainment.

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Agree! When it’s well written like this, and there’s great artwork, we get the best of both worlds and :raised_hands: it’s fantastic! (More, please!)

:eyes: Adds Superman: Up in the Sky to reading list. :purple_heart:

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Wow. Loved that Swamp Thing story.

You are the monster.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

As others have pointed out, the twist is so heartfelt and so very Swamp Thing, protector of The Green.

I very much agree with @darkstarz’s take on this story being very fitting for 2020. The pacing of the story, specifically the repeated use of the caption “later” felt very much like the pacing of the year. Great year-end selection!

Looking forward to more Swampy stories in the future!

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Welcome to House of Horror!!!

I still have to read the other 3 books but I am not sure if any of them will be topping Swamp Thing on this comic rotation. That is a story that kind of sticks with you unexpectedly.

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Thank you thank you.

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Hey there Horror People, sorry about my long absence. I blame the Wildstorm Trilogy of Terror, it REALLY turned me off, reminded me of everything that was bad about 90s comics. But you know what they say about excuses, so I’ve been playing catch up.

The House of Mystery Series has just been getting better and better with all its bizarreness. In issue 9 I loved the story of the lady who falls for movie monster types, hopefully she knows to walk away. The main story is getting crazy with the introduction of Figs supernatural father and Miranda, I love the self narration thing that she does. The father clearly knows what’s going on but never shared anything with Fig as a child. There is also more illusion to otherworldly happenings.

In issue 10 the Bete Noir monster kind of fizzled but definitely left an impression with its relationship with Miranda. I wonder what is going to happen in the after effects there? The plotting ratman made me laugh. The Fig Stuffytown story was cute and interesting look into her childhood. Did she repress that there was magic in her life or what?

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When I first selected DC Nuclear Winter it seemed like an odd choice then I realized this was in a trade paperback collection titled DC Holiday Nightmares. We have read 2 of the 3 books included in that collection in this entry. Both Swamp Thing Winter Special and Nuclear Winter were included along with Harley Quinn 55.

It is no surprise that I LOVE horror movies and one of my favorite subgenres is the post-apocalypse. While many of these do not fall under the horror genre of movie, I will make the argument that one of the most horrifying things in the modern world is nuclear fallout and whatever is left. Movies ranging from Mad Max to 2020 Texas Gladiators (the first movie I watched in 2020) to Waterworld and The Postman. Reading this book, while some of the stories are WAY better than others, I got the same vibe and often the same chills as I would from the movie counterparts.

Supergirl’s story was heart touching while heartbreaking at the same time. It seemed to walk a thin line that could have ended and may have ended in disaster. This was also my favorite story in this anthology. My second favorite story was the Green Arrow story. It was weird, at first, to see him as an old man and to see Dinah as an old woman, both still wearing superhero costumes. While the future for these two characters are not what I would like, the ending was like a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter day.

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Thank you! That story definitely got to me…

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Welcome back @LaserPuff!!! Yes, the Wildstorm book wasn’t great but we can say we have lived through that ordeal and have become better people. Sadly, I can’t say I have learned my lesson regarding 90s comics. The upside to this is I am not sure if there are many horror books currently on DCU from the 90s, you should be safe…for now. MUAHAHAHA! :joker_hv_1:

Issue 9 has a lot to unpack. First, the writers of this book really had a thing about women with monsters/insects. This began in issue one and is a common theme of this series. I am not complaining but I do have to laugh every time I see it occur. Miranda is becoming one of my favorite characters due to her speech patterns and self-narrations. Peter Keele, aka Fig’s dad, is becoming an interesting character. I am getting Cigarette Smoking Man (X-Files) vibes from him and I am all for it. I didn’t think I would want a shadowy figure who knows what is happening but I certainly do now!

Issue 10 continues where 9 left off and the second story arc has concluded. This series continues down the path of what I want from it. The back-up story of Fig’s childhood was cute and a departure of pretty intense main story.

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