Batman, Spider-Man, Superman and Captain America are all household names, but they can’t hold a candle to the real estate that Santa Claus holds in the hearts and minds of people around the world. And although superhero comics have been known from time to time to take public domain characters and turn them into big franchises, Santa Claus has been more of a guest star than a comics mainstay. But when he shows up, you’re in for something special.
Here are six appearances and incarnations of Kris Kringle that’ll warm up any fanboy’s fireplace:
… [T]here were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
– Luke 2: 8-14 (King James Version)
If you are inexorably compelled to top off that passage with “And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown,” join the club. As well, if you’re wondering how this relates to DC Comics’ superheroes, fear not — we’ll get there. (And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, don’t worry — I’ll try not to prosletyze.)
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Far be it for us to condone graffiti, but if you were going to vandalize public property — say, a statue celebrating the Soviet Army and communist rule — this is the way you should do it: With gloriously nerdy style.
Courtesy of Gawker, the Daily Mail and other outlets comes word that police in Sofia, Bulgaria, are searching for the graffiti artist who over the weekend painted a monument erected to commemorate the 1944 “liberation” of Bulgaria, transforming Soviet soldiers into colorful comic-book and cartoon characters.
From right, that’s Wonder Woman, Robin, Captain America, Ronald McDonald, Superman, Santa Claus, Wolverine, The Joker and … I don’t know. I initially thought it was the Gorton’s Fisherman, but now I’m not so sure. (Any guesses?) On the base was painted the words “Moving with the times,” “In pace with the times” or “Abreast with the times,” depending on which translation you prefer.
The monument has since been cleaned up, at a cost of about $720. Go here to see more shots of the monument, including the mysterious figure in yellow.
The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories
Edited by Craig Yoe
IDW, 176 pages, $34.99
When I was a kid, the word “treasury” promised delights beyond measure, and Christmas was the time when treasuries—of comics, fairy tales, Christmas stories, and other delights—showed up under the tree.
Craig Yoe’s The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories is a throwback to those days when a big, fat, colorful book was the centerpiece of the Christmas swag. It is very much a baby-boomer book, chock full of colorful stories from the 1940s and 1950s, but most of the material has aged pretty well and there are some solid classics in there. Of course there are some clinkers, too, but that’s the way of anthologies.
Most notable among the good stuff are several stories by Walt Kelly. His Santa tales are a far cry from Pogo, with a massive, good-natured Santa surrounded by cherubic elves, while his winsome animal stories are more familiar but all sweetness and no bite. The most imaginative of his stories is “The Great Three-Flavored Blizzard,” a classic fairy-tale type story in which weather problems threaten Christmas (no snow, no sleigh) until an elf and the Easter Bunny solve the problem by using ice cream for snow.
Quick Stop Entertainment is hosting a webcomic starring Paul Dini’s Jingle Belle; the first one went up last week, and a Christmas Eve story will be posted Thursday. Dini also says Belle will return in 2010 with “more winter fun.”
Last week Marvel sent over one of two interlocking variant covers for Hulk #18 and Fall of the Hulks Gamma by Ed McGuinness. Above you’ll see that we now have both covers, featuring Big Green and Big Red having a massive snowball fight, with a couple of She-Hulks serving as collateral damage.
Solicitation info for both books can be found after the jump …
To help make your holiday season simply smashing*, Ed McGuinness has drawn two interconnecting “Hulk Santa Variant” covers for Hulk #18 and Fall of the Hulks Gamma. Above is the cover for Hulk #18 that Marvel sent over, and I’m guessing the as-yet-unrevealed cover to Fall of the Hulks Gamma will feature the other side of the ginormous snowball fight.
Solicitation information for both books is available after the jump …
*I apologize for that.