Q: Merry Ask Chris-tmas! What's the weirdest version of the Santa Claus origin story? -- @prograpslady
A: You know, it wasn't that long ago that I wrote about two different version of Santa's origin that were done as stop-motion TV specials from Rankin-Bass, and as much as I love them both, they're not exactly what you'd really expect. I mean, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town is essentially the story of a revolutionary who brings down a corrupt European government through illegal toymaking and is then hunted until he has to relocate to the North Pole, and The Life And Adventures of Santa Claus has him raised on the milk of a lioness and taught about Japanese samurai by a twelve foot tall druid who shot laser beams from a silver axe in a war against child-hating goblins.
I guess what I'm getting at here is that even for someone who's spent a lifetime getting used to origin stories with nonsense words like "bitten by a radioactive spider" and "inhaled hard water fumes," Santa's beginnings are pretty weird.
The Christmas season is upon us once again, and that means that it's time for children all over the world to kick off the annual debate about the existence of Santa Claus -- despite the fact that we've already settled that in court, twice. I mean, yes, it was a court in a movie, but this is America, and if there's anything more binding than a fictional courtroom scene in a beloved classic that's upheld in its '90s remake, I'd like to hear about it.
In any case, the Santa Question has provided the inspiration for a new short comic from Kyle Starks. The infuriatingly good creator of one of the year's best graphic novels, Sexcastle has given us the gift of ten new full-color pages, decorated in the spirit of the season with a whole ton of cusswords. It's a Christmas miracle!
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.
Q: How do the holiday mythologies compare between Marvel and DC? -- @crcovar
A: How did you know, Crovar?! Another excuse to drop nine thousand words about the underlying differences in the structure of imaginary universes and how they've affected their storytelling over the past seventy years? It's exactly what I wanted for Christmas!
Nah, I'm just kidding. We can probably get through this one in five or six thousand. Seven, tops.
It's been over 1600 years since St. Nicholas of Myra first punched someone out for heresy right in front of the emperor, and in that time, he's mellowed out from a surprisingly violent theological hard-liner to the jolly old gift-giver that we know today as Santa Claus. He's beloved by children all over the world, owns a set of flying reindeer and has an origin story more complicated than most X-Men, but there's one area where Santa Claus is truly lacking: action figures.
Seriously, with the possible exception of Robin Hood, there has never been a character so beloved that is so dreadfully underrepresented in posable plastic. There are, however, a few options, so for those of you in dire need of something to fill that vacant spot in your miniature Christmas village, we're making like elves and doing our best to rank the 10 best Santa Claus action figures! Or at least, you know, the ten that actually exist.
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.
There are very few things I love in this world more than a story where a superhero teams up with Santa Claus to save Christmas. I mean, I love Christmas comics in general, but the ones where the Jolly Old Saint himself shows up are always just a little bit more special, especially when the hero in question is Superman. If I was in charge, you'd see Santa Claus literally every time there was a comic set at the Fortress of Solitude, because really, the North Pole has exactly three residents, and who else are they going to hang out with? But I digress.
My point is, Superman/Santa Claus team-ups are great, even when they're weird -- and folks, they do get weird. Take, for example, one of Superman's earliest team-ups with St. Nicholas, wherein they have to battle against the evil machinations of a dude who hates Christmas so much that he makes Santa Claus even fatter than he already was, and Superman has to help him lose weight.
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