With 800 episodes over the course of 22 years, the Power Rangers television show is arguably the single most successful live-action superhero franchise of all time, and certainly one of the strangest. Adapted from Japan's long-running Super Sentai series, created by manga legend Shotaro Ishinomori, the Power Rangers combined the giant robots and monsters of their Japanese counterpart with a completely different set of secret identities and problems, and became a pop cultural phenomenon. That's why we're looking back with an in-depth guide to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, including its source material, Kyuoryu Sentai Zyuranger, in ComicsAlliance's Ranger Station!
This week, we're jumping ahead to the current series, Power Rangers Dino Charge, for a look at the "Race to Rescue Christmas," and the question of just how Santa Claus works in the world of the Power Rangers!
Q: Which Christmas song would make the best Kirby comic? -- @hazbaz
A: Okay, first of all? This is literally the best Ask Chris question in the five-year history of this column.
I mean, there are very few questions I've ever gotten that hit the exact bullseye of my interests quite as well as that one. If I somehow manage to come up with an answer that involves a Christmas song about Bulbasaur - something that actually does exist thanks to the charmingly bizarre cash-in abum The Pokémon Christmas Bash - then I think I will have covered everything. But even more than that, it's an opportunity to fix one of the greatest tragedies in comics history: The fact that there just aren't a whole lot of Jack Kirby Christmas comics.
When you read as many Christmas comics as I have --- and folks, I have read plenty --- you start to get the idea that you know what you're in for. There are a few basic plots that tend to be recycled over and over again when the holidays roll in, and when a story announces right up front that it's going to be making a pretty pointed reference to, say, A Christmas Carol, there are things you expect. There's a rich old man, four spirits, all that good stuff.
What you don't expect is that the story will instead involve zero spirits, a rich child, and a gang of thugs attempting to corner the Gotham City Christmas Tree market by setting a bunch of people on fire. And yet, here we are with 1945's "A Christmas Peril," where that is exactly what happens.
Thanks to all of you readers, we've had a great year here at ComicsAlliance. Without your support, we wouldn't be able to bring you the insightful commentary, hilarious show recaps, revealing interviews or any number of the other great content we curate to show how great, powerful and sometimes frustrating comics can be. As a token of our gratitude, we've lined up a collection of goods to giveaway just in the time for the holiday season.
Whether you're a longtime fan, a casual comic reader, or someone who's just starting out, we're sure there are more than a few things we'll be offering up that might make the end of your year as bright as you've helped make our 2015.
Assuming you're shopping in the UK or online, this week marks the release of 2000 AD prog 1961. It's this year's Christmas special, with a full hundred pages of not only the usual dose of thrillpower, but also... well, whatever the Christmas equivalent of that concept is, I suppose. Merrypower? Thrilljollies? Listen, I'm still pretty new to this whole thing.
Point being, there's plenty of yuletide fun to be found in this week's issue, and as you might expect, absolutely none of that fun is being had by Judge Dredd, the stone-faced grinch of Mega City One's law enforcement, who is spending his Christmas doling out grim justice to snowmen who have come to life. No, really: It's Dredd vs. Frosty in this week's issue, and you can check out a preview below!
The Christmas season is well and truly upon us, and that means that it's time once again for all of the usual traditions: Decorating the tree, hanging up the stockings, leaving your shoes out for St. Nicholas to fill up with candy, and, if you happen to be a teenager in the idyllic town of Riverdale, preparing for a casual visit from Jingles the Elf and the Sugarplum Fairy.
That's what I'm doing, anyway, and while I'm definitely a little more into the weirder side of Archie Comics than the average person, they're definitely a couple of characters that you should know about. If nothing else, it's always worth talking about how the fact that Archie and his friends regularly hang out with elves from Santa's workshop and no one seems to think this is even the slightest bit unusual is maybe the least weird thing about them.
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.
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.
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