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.
When Boom Studios' Klaus was first announced, I wasn't sure that there could be any phrase in the English language that would be more exciting to me than "Grant Morrison and Dan Mora doing a Santa Claus: Year One," but here we are. With the book set for release next month, Boom has sent out a press release about the series that comes complete with a quote from Morrison himself, and while it might be the single most Grant Morrison sentence ever written --- it is a sentence about Santa Claus that contains the word "shamanism" --- it is also one of the most exciting.
Seriously: This quote starts by describing Santa's origin story as "one man and his wolf against a totalitarian state" and then just builds from there.
A little over a year ago, Boom Studios announced that Grant Morrison would be working on an undisclosed new series at some point, with no specific details given. As we head into SDCC 2015, the publisher has now revealed what comic Morrison will be working on, and it's essentially Santa Claus: Year One.
Klaus is a six issue mini-series by Morrison and artist Dan Mora, best known for his art on Hexed. The series will focus on hot bearded crusader Santa as he fights off invaders, builds a sleigh, hangs out with his pet wolf (which has a bloody, red nose) and does all kinds of rugged manly things in the woods.
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: What is the best media representation of Santa Claus's origin? -- @pbarb
A: I'll be honest with you, folks: I love Santa Claus almost as much as I love Batman. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only reason the Caped Crusader gets the edge over Jolly Old St. Nick is that nobody's out there publishing five monthly comics about his continuing adventures. As a result of that egregious oversight, I'm not as familiar with Santa's various origins as I probably should be. There are, however, two origins for Santa Claus that I like an awful lot, despite the fact that they're so different from each other that they could almost be about two completely unrelated characters.
Chris: Hello, everybody! Over the past couple of weeks, we've been taking a look at the Japanese Spider-Man show, but in this special holiday season, we thought it might be fun to fast forward a bit...
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.
Q: What superhero has the loveable jolliness/elf-oppressing fist of iron necessary to take over for Santa? -- @FrankMcCormick
A: A replacement for Santa Claus, eh, Frank? Well, that shouldn't be too hard to figure out. It really just comes down to -- wait. A replacement for Santa Claus?! Why do we need a replacement?! Did something happen to Santa?!
Oh God. Oh God. Okay. Don't freak out. We've still got two weeks. There's time to fix this before Christmas Eve. C'mon, Frank. We've got work to do.
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.
DC Comics has been producing holiday comics for a full 70+ years now, ever since Superman first teamed up with Santa to encourage kindness and generosity in "The Christmas Adventure!"
So with seven solid decades of holiday fun, some of them are bound to rise to the top, which is why we've asked ComicsAlliance contributor and Christmas comic aficionado Chris Sims to rifle through the long boxes at the North Pole and bring us his picks for DC's Twelve Greatest Holiday Stories!!
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