The folktale of Santa Claus has been around for a long time. We have seen Saint Nick in movies, television, and soda cans, but my favorite place to see Santa Claus is in comic books. Many writers have crafted their own version of the big red guy, and they are not always on the Nice List. Let’s check out some of my favorites.
Superman’s Christmas Adventure (Nice)
A tale as classic as those stop-motion animation movies, Superman’s Christmas Adventure is an excellent read for anyone. While Clark Kent and Lois Lane start up a toy drive for the Daily Planet, Dr. Grouch and his partner Mr. Meany plan to sabotage Christmas. The two villains first try to threaten Santa Claus into turning his toy workshop into a commercialized industrial factory. When Santa denies their request the two plot another way to stop Christmas cheer from being spread. Dr. Grouch and Mr. Meany kidnap all of Santa’s reindeer making his trip around the world impossible, but when all hope seems lost, the elves give Santa an idea to call Superman for help.
Marvel Holiday Special 1991 (Nice)
Short stories featuring Captain America, Thor, Franklin Richards, X-Men, and of course Santa Claus! In 1991, Marvel began running an annual holiday special with their superheroes. The first issue in the series has an interesting story that explains Santa Claus and his place in the Marvel Universe.
While the X-Men were setting up their Christmas decorations, an alarm begins to go off in the X-Mansion. Storm, Wolverine, and most of the X-Men gang run to find that Cerebro has located the "most powerful mutant ever registered" in a New York City mall. During the search for this particular mutant in the mall, The X-Men run into members of the Brotherhood. A battle ensues and is only stopped when the Brotherhood is suddenly transformed into toys. The X-men turn around to see that Santa Claus has stopped them with his mutant powers.
Klaus is the history behind Santa Claus written by the famous Grant Morrison. After becoming an orphan in the town Grimsvig, Klaus was adopted by a member of the town’s guard. He grew to adulthood and became a trader for the medieval city. He crafted wooden toys for the children and gave them as gifts in spite of Grimsvig’s Evil Lord, Magnus.
During the Yuletide festival, Lord Magnus begins taking all the toys from the town’s children. He gives all of the toys to his son Jonas. As Magnus selfishness grows, Klaus starts to sneak into homes and gift the children wooden toys with help from the forest spirits. This ignites a rivalry between the Evil Lord and the Humble Trader until Magnus discovers Santa’s true identity.
The Last Christmas (Naughty)
This story is not for the kids. The Last Christmas is a dark tale that asks the question: What would Santa Claus do after the Apocalypse? The planet has seen nuclear warfare, and it has lead to the creation of mutants and looters. A looting group called the Marauders has been killing and stealing from the few that have survived the warfare. Not even the North Pole was safe in the wave of looting because Santa’s home was attacked while he was out delivering presents.
Mrs. Claus is found dead in the first few pages causing Mr. Claus to fall into a deep depression and even trying to kill himself, but since there is one child left that believes in Santa Claus, he remains immortal. So naturally, the drunk and depressed Santa Claus decides that he should kill the kid. From here the story just gets ridiculous. We get to see good ol’ St. Nick with machine guns and a full bag of tree ornament grenades. What else should we expect from the writer, Brian Posehn, best known for his work on the Deadpool series?
Lobo: The Paramilitary Christmas Special (Naughty)
Lobo has never really enjoyed the holiday of Christmas, so when the Easter Bunny hires him to do a job on Santa, he gets really into it. Santa is not a jolly or nice guy in this story. He’s kind of a jerk. Santa runs the factory with an iron fist. It is like he just does the Christmas job and goes on with the rest of his year.
Luckily, Lobo is here to put an end to all of that. After being hired by the Easter Bunny, Lobo waltzes through the front gate of the North Pole to destroy Santa’s factory and his Elf army. He shoots his way up to Santa’s office where Santa is waiting to fight him in hand-to-hand combat. The violence is layered on pretty thick. Lobo only cares about his contract and leaves a long line of dead bodies. The good news, however, is that most of the work elves are freed from the evil dictator they used to call Santa Claus.
Reading different versions of Santa during the holidays is fun. The character has been around for so long that it is only natural to have such a wide variety of the Bearded Gift Giver. Did you enjoy our comic book lt? What are your favorite Santa Claus stories? Let us know in the comments section.