Check out all the Christmas Eve links, after the cut.
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.
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.
Video: Stan Lee reads "A Visit from St. Nicholas" like a true believer... in Santa.
Proposals: Eddie Zarick shows off his arc reactor proposal prop. How could any body turn down a ring stored i
As you might expect, Santa Claus is a fixture in Christmas comics, but he's rarely having a very good time of it. At the very least, he tends to need help saving Christmas from just not happening, and often, he's in pretty bad shape himself. Some
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why, each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions!
Q: My flatmate is scared of Santa and therefore Christmas. How can I help cure him? -- @c