guys go read Hal’s run as the Spectre it’s fucking adorable and beautiful and honestly one of the most hopeful comics ever and i totally did not expect that from a title about punishment and vengeance and holy murder. He meets Santa at one point. Hal is confused a lot. It’s great.
This issue in particular was just pure fluff. The Wrath of God Himself hosting a birthday party for his niece. Legend.
It was hard to stay away on normal days, even knowing it was for Helen’s own protection, but holidays were the worst. Hanukkah, Christmas, her birthday…and days like Father’s Day. Because while he could never replace Jack, he didn’t want Helen growing up with that hollow feeling he’d had–he wanted her to know she could still mourn her father while celebrating what she still had.
He’d traded favors with Zatanna to contact Minxx, to get a letter to Helen and a card in return. It was hand drawn and precious to him, something he kept folded in a pocket of his jacket, an anchor to remind himself that despite everything Helen was real. Existing outside of time as he perceived it, safe and sound with Materna and other Risen. Stigmonus couldn’t get to her any more than Hal himself could.
In the card, it was a sunny day, and Hal, Minxx, and Helen floated just below the clouds on a brightly colored carpet. They were having a picnic, smiling to each other. Below them, the ocean stretched out the entire length of the paper, while in the distance a small plane flew by. They looked like a family, like the impossibility they had all thought would be theirs forever.
He could never explain it to the others, even Jim had forgotten their niece, but sometimes it was enough to know that somewhere in another universe there was a Helen with her Uncle Hal celebrating Father’s Day together.