For many people, the end of a year and the start of a new one is a time of introspection and reflection, a time to look back at the things we have accomplished and the things we hope to accomplish in the coming days. Comics websites are no different. They like to reflect on the ending year's best and worst accomplishments as well as imagining what achievements there may be in the forthcoming year. And if they can format this year-in-review as a series of shameless link-bait listicles, all the better! Here's some articles of this type you might see on, you know, other websites.
In a recent essay, I posited that rather than being the villain of Christmas as he is popularly understood, the furry demon known as the Krampus is actually the Batman of Christmas. This got me thinking: who would play which role if we were to build an entire Justice League of Christmas? If you are wondering, yes, this is what it's like inside my brain all the time. And so, I propose to you this roster for the JLXmas.
Over the last few years, the centuries-old figure of Alpine Europe, the Krampus, has become increasingly well known in the United States, thanks to books (et al) by Monte Beauchamp, and appearances on The Venture Bros, some Anthony Bourdain show or other, and The Colbert Report. As a result, the Krampus has become the subject of popular merchandise, including t-shirts, greeting cards, stickers, and figurines, leading some to assert that the Krampus, perhaps like Christmas itself, has become too commercial.
Comics are no exception to this trend.
Two of my greatest loves in life are Christmas and comics, and so it's always a treat for me when the two cross over in that most wonderful of things: the holiday special. Even when those things are bad, they're still kind of good, because it's Christmas, and you're feeling charitable. But sometimes the introduction of Christmas-themed elements are not what you expect. Here are ten appearances by Christmas folk that might confound you, and that's even without mentioning that time Aquaman saved the baby Jesus from pirates by mind-controlling a giant squid.
The American version of Thanksgiving is this week, and whether you celebrate the holiday as a gathering of family or a get-together for friends, the day can always be a mixed bag in terms of the quality of people who show up. Sometimes they're family members you're obligated to invite, sometimes they're friends of friends, but somehow there's always someone who makes the day memorable, but not necessarily in a good way. Here are ten characters who might rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Toys are basically a no-brainer as pieces of ancillary merchandise for comic books: ideally, they help fire kids' creativity as they imagine themselves in the roles of their favorite heroes and villains, sculpting scenarios that could develop the minds that will one day shape the future of our favorite characters' fictional lives; more realistically, they look okay standing up on shelves in the basements of thirty-somethings, next to their 1/6 scale statue of Faye Valentine. But not everyone who pops up in a comic stands out as an obvious candidate for the translation to the medium of plastic. Here are ten characters, obscure or otherwise, who will make you scratch your head when you see them on the rack at Target.
In the Golden Age of Comics, which ran from roughly the late 1930s until the early 1950s, it was not unusual to see a superhero given either a kid sidekick or a bumbling adult friend, either so the hero had someone to talk to or as comic relief. While a few of these characters—Robin, Bucky, Speedy, Aqualad—have survived in comics readers' consciousness to the modern day, here are some characters whose names alone would make you feel sure you had accidentally hit the “random” button on Urban Dictionary.
In traditional folklore, the doppelgänger (from the German, meaning “double-goer”) is a person's spectral double, which, when seen, is a portent of death. In superhero comics and other genre literature, the evil twin or doppelgänger has been a common plot element since man could grow a goatee. Such evil doubles have returned to the spotlight recently due to the Crime Syndicate's debut in the New 52 as part of the Forever Evil storyline. But while many superhero fans know Bizarro, Sinestro, or Venom, here are ten lesser known evil twins/counterparts/doppelgängers.
We as humans extract some kind of perverse enjoyment and affirmation out of seeing items or ideas grouped together in numbers commensurate to the amount of fingers the average human has. We see these groups of items or ideas and we say to ourselves, “Yes, this is the perfect number of things to look at on a website in one sitting; yes, this is the perfect number of fingers to have. Good job, website. Good job, humanity.” Websites, conversely, enjoy top tens, because they attract views; views, it turns out, are how websites make money.
And so here are a list of 10 top 10 lists we would have done if we only cared about money, and not being nominated for awards and then not winning them.