Comics Should Be Good is one of my favorite comic blogs, and they’re running a “readers pick” on the best Christmas comics ever told. You can vote here. I’m not going to get into the interweb PC questions about why other December holidays are excluded…Santa is a U.S. cultural icon, whether you’re Christian or not (I’m not). Every year in my house, we pull out a life size talking Santa. Seriously. We’re cool like that.
Anyway, here’s what I entered into the CBSG reader poll….
10. Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #112. The comic is good—from the Peter David era—but the cover is wizard. For more on this comic, go here.
9. Marvel Team-Up #1. Not only the first issue of a great series, but a Christmas issue! “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas” features the villain needing to visit his sick mother before Christmas. Spider-Man and Human Torch show mercy and don’t tell the old woman that her son is a criminal, and Spidey even gives Sandman’s mommy a present—one he’d intended to give to his own girlfriend! Ridiculously sentimental.
8. DC Comics Presents #67. Len Wein, E Nelson Bridwell, and the great Curt Swan on the Superman/Santa Claus team up. I’ll be featuring this book soon, as part of my Christmas series of posts.
7. Daredevil #253. Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr., offer a Kingpin Christmas story, portraying Daredevil as, essentially, Hell’s Kitchen’s Santa Clause. For more on this comic, and how Donald Trump is involved, go here.
6. Hulk #378. No one has ever written better Hulk comics than Peter David, and for this Christmas issue The Rhino gets a job as a department store Santa(!) and Hulk deals with him in his usual smashing manner. The title of the story is awesome: “Rhino Plastered.”
5. DCU Holiday Bash II. Honestly, most of this comic is just mediocre. But two pages by Ty Templeton have Santa giving Darkseid a lump of coal, and Darkseid ordering his minions not to let Santa escape alive.
4. GLX-Mas Special. The GL stands for “Great Lakes Avengers,” the Dan Slott team that more people should know about. Hilarious comics. This 2005 one-shot with art by Ty Templeton, Paul Grist, and Mike Wieringo, among others, has the team engaging in secret Santa, fighting Christmas trees, Squirrel Girl defeating Thanos, and, of course, MODOK.
3. Hitman #22. “The Santa Contract.” Hitman is one of Garth Ennis’ best works—you can see so much of his future work in it. Absolute comic book brilliance.
2. X-Men #143. Not only one of the best Holiday stories (Kitty Pryde is Jewish), but one of the best X-Men comics of all time. Hell, one of my favorite single books ever, period. All the X-persons leave for Christmas and Kitty is alone in the mansion…With a brood queeen. It’s the one where she proves herself, the book that turned her from a sidekick to a main character. A wonderful coming-of-age tale, and full of Holiday season warmth.
1. Marvel Holiday Special (2005). It’s got Mole Man’s Christmas, How Fin Fang Foom Saved Christmas, and Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santron: Stories that reimagine canon, tales with warmth, and lots of humor. There is simply nothing better for the Holidays.