Q: Can Santa Claus beat Superman in a fight? Can he beat Batman? --@byharryconnolly
A: You, Harry, have been affected by the cynicism of a cynical age. Any schoolchild could tell you that Santa Claus would never fight Superman or Batman, because they are all on the same side. Then again, I suppose that's why you didn't ask a schoolchild and instead went straight to someone who specializes in providing needlessly elaborate answers to yes-or-no questions about fictional vigilantes.
So today, on this wintry Christmas Week Eve, I'm going to take up the spirit of the holiday and give you the answer you asked for. The short version? Yes. Santa Claus could beat those dudes like government reindeer. It wouldn't even be close.
Christmas is a time for traditions. For some, it's all about stringing up lights on a Christmas tree and wrapping up presents to put beneath it. For others, it's spending singing carols door to door to spread holiday cheer. And for still others, it's a time to beat a log with a stick until it poops out candy.
If you're not familiar with that last one, don't worry: ComicsAlliance favorites Benito Cereno and Anthony Clark have stepped up to explain it all in an original comic featuring an Untold Tale of St. Nicholas! Check out the five-page Tio de Nadal: A True Christmas Storyafter the cut!
If you're a regular ComicsAlliance reader, then you already know that I'm pretty fascinated by the weirder comics of the past, but at Christmastime, my thoughts turn to more heartwarming tales. As soon as that calendar flips over to December, 'tis the season for Santa Claus, presents, the occasional talking Christmas tree that Wonder Woman rescued from the Nazis by holding a door shut and talking about how it felt like being spanked. I mean, yeah, they're still pretty weird, but they've got that Christmas spirit!
Case in point: "A Christmas For Shacktown," the title story in the latest Fantagraphics collection of Disney Duck tales by the legendary Carl Barks. At 32 pages, it's a sprawling epic (By Barks' standards, anyway) that hits those beautiful Holiday themes of altruism and the spirit of giving. Although to be fair, it does get a little closer to cannibalism than most other Christmas comics.Our story begins as Donald Duck's three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, are taking a shortcut home from school through Shacktown, the hard-luck side of Duckburg where Calisota's poor gather together in sub-Dickensian poverty. Now, you'd think that a city built around the most successful businessman in the history of the world would be prosperous enough that even the bad neighborhoods would be doing all right, but apparently McDuck industries isn't the proven job creator that you might expect. If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably because its owner keeps three cubic acres of cash in a gigantic bin on top of a nearby hill, but I'm no economist. That's a different Chris Sims.
If you're not familiar with the Aquabats Super Show, then let me tell you, friends, it was pretty great. It ran for three years on the Hub, following the adventures of the Aquabats, a real-life superhero-themed band known for battling monsters onstage, recast as a group of musical superheroes who traveled the world battling evil with the power of rock 'n' roll and guitars that shoot lightning, featuring guest stars like Weird Al and Tony Hawk, and frequently written and directed by Homestar Runner co-creator Matt Chapman. In other words, it's the perfect television show.
Needless to say, the Christmas special was just as amazing as the rest of the series, as the Aquabats journey to a town where Christmas has been outlawed by the Krampus, who took over with plans to hand out a birch-rod beating to anyone who dares to celebrate the holidays.
In addition to chronicling the Orange Lantern's Christmas morning freak-out and subsequent greed-inspired adventure, DC Comics' 2010 Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special one-shot offered something downright generous -- a recipe for Larfleeze's Orange Lantern cookies! We've reposted the recipe again this year to help make whatever holiday(s) you've selected to celebrate this season bright. Click on past the cut for instructions on baking the orange-y goodness for yourself.
Though the menace that is Krampus traditionally taunts/beats/drags children off to meet the devil during the first two weeks of December, it's always a good idea to maintain vigilance throughout the entire holiday season - especially if you're a ComicsAlliance reader. If you read our stuff, we can only imagine the kind of comic book content you indulged in over the course of 2010. Lucky for you, we had renowned creator Anthony Clark illustrate a proper greeting card warning that helps us all maintain vigilance should the demonic punishment Krampus come a calling!
Q: Why does everyone hate the "Christmas with the Joker" episode of Batman: The Animated Series? -- @tekende
A: You know, I'm not sure everyone does hate "Christmas with the Joker." I certainly don't, but then again, I can't really say that I like it a whole lot either. It's definitely one of those episodes that pops into mind whenever I start thinking of the worst episodes of the series, although it misses out on being the actual worst by a long shot. But that said, I don't quite know the reason why.
Listen, I don't want to get up on a soap box here, because that's not what ComicsAlliance is about, but there's something that really bothers me at this time of year. I've read a lot of holiday comics, and very, very few of them even touch on the true meaning of Christmas. Sure, there's a lot about the spirit of giving and being a good person, but that's the kind of stuff that superhero comics are always about anyway. There's something more behind Christmas, something eternal, something that a lot of people want to ignore for the sake of being "inclusive" or whatever nonsense reasons they have this year.
I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but let's be real: There's a reason we have Christmas, and it's time we acknowledge that. And that reason is that Batman reversed time to stop the Earth from being blown up by antimatter.
I'm going to go out on a festively decorated limb here and guess that you are, of course, already familiar with Mike Maihack's fantastic and adorable Batgirl/Supergirl strips. He's been doing them for a few years now, chronicling the perky, cheerful Kryptonian heroine, the slightly grumpier Gotham City vigilante, and their continuing adventures as best friends.
They're all pretty great, but my favorites by far are the annual Christmas specials. This year, though, they're even more special than usual, as Batgirl and Supergirl are joined by a special guest star for an evening of caroling in exchange for candy. It's a Christmas Miracle!
As anyone who knows me can attest, I'm a pretty big fan of Christmas, and this time of year, I start going through my set of holiday traditions. There's the usual ones, of course, like decorating the tree and opening the Advent Calendar, but I've also got a few of my own, like the traditional Christmas Eve slice of pie at the Waffle House...
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