Ah, Christmas. The time of year to snuggle up in a comfy chair under a blanket, with a hot beverage, next to a roaring fire (on TV) with something nice to read. And why would that nice thing to read need to be a book! There are enough comics to read around Christmas time, so let’s dig in!
Batman: Noël is a 2011 original graphic novel published by DC Comics written and illustrated by Lee Bermejo (Batman: Damned). The story is a Batman version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and is narrated by one of the Joker’s henchmen, not unlike the 2008 graphic novel Joker for which Bermejo also provided beautiful artwork. As an original graphic novel, the story is not tied to any mainstream Batman continuity. You can read it at any moment and have a complete story.
You can also play as Batman in the costume seen in Batman: Noël in two video games. The first one is Batman: Arkham Origins, which itself is set at Christmas Eve. The skin becomes available when you beat the game on Normal or Hard settings, or if you purchase the New Millennium Skin Pack. The second game is Batman: Arkham Knight, for which the skin was released as free Christmas DLC.
DC’s Nuclear Winter Special #1
DC’s Nuclear Winter Special #1 is an 80-page one-shot comic that has just been released in time for the holidays. You can find 10 stories in it set at Christmas during a nuclear winter. They are “Rip Hunter: Time Master in ‘The Nuclear Winter Special’,” “Aquaman in ‘Where the Light Cannot Reach’,” “Batman 666 in ‘Warmth’,” “Firestorm in ‘Last Christmas’,” “Superman One Million in ‘Memory Heart’,” “Kamandi in ‘Northern Lights’,” “The Flash in ‘Once and Future’,” “Catwoman in ‘Nine Lives’,” “Supergirl in ‘Last Daughters’,” and finally “Green Arrow in ‘The Birds of Christmas Past, Present and Future’.”
A Deadpool/Spider-Man story from Marvel set at Christmas! Spider-Man/Deadpool #12 from 2016 is written by Nick Giovannetti and Paul Scheer, with art by Todd Nauck. It’s the Avengers Christmas party (set after Civil War II)! About everyone is here, both Captain Americas (Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson), Spider-Man (Miles Morales) Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, Vision, Rogue, Thor (the female one), both Hawkeyes (Clint Barton and Kate Bishop), and recent Avengers addition Deadpool. Who’s left out? Well, the Amazing Spider-Man! But all that does not matter because the Titan Saturn is going on a rampage because he does not agree with how Christmas is celebrated in the modern day.
Another comic from Marvel is the recent Deadpool #7 written by Skottie Young (A-Babies vs. X-Babies) and with art by Nic Klein (Winter Soldier #15-19 (2013)). A week after Christmas Deadpool is hired by a bunch of kids. Why is that? Santa Claus did not leave presents underneath their Christmas trees and for that, he must die! After accepting the surprisingly well-funded kids’ offer Deadpool travels to the North Pole. Arriving at the home of Santa Claus things turn out to not be as clean-cut as they may have seemed.
Donald Duck: Christmas On Bear Mountain
Christmas On Bear Mountain is a 1947 comic by iconic Donald Duck writer and artist Carl Barks. It is notable as the first ever appearance of Scrooge McDuck. Donald and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie are invited by Scrooge to celebrate Christmas in his Citizen Kane’s Xanadu-like chalet up on Bear Mountain. There Scrooge wants to test Donald and the triplet’s courage by dressing up as a bear. However, things take a turn when an actual bear gets involved.
Uncle Scrooge: The Richest Duck in the World
That other iconic Donald Duck writer and artist Don Rosa took inspiration from Christmas On Bear Mountain for the twelfth and final part of his Eisner Award-winning saga The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Part 12 called “The Richest Duck in the World” also has Scrooge invite Donald and Huey, Dewey, and Louie for Christmas, but with the Beagle Boys getting involved on a Money Bin heist.
The reboot of DuckTales (which also just had a Christmas episode in “Last Christmas!”) in turn has taken inspiration from this story. Just like in DuckTales Scrooge has not seen Donald or his nephews for many years. Don Rosa, by the way, is not a fan of the new DuckTales. Although we think it is rather great.
Don Rosa ain't messing around pic.twitter.com/ai4S1ZVC3f
— Joe Fourhman (@fourhman) September 23, 2017
Hellboy: Krampusnacht is a one-shot comic released in 2017. It is a story written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and with art by Adam Hughes (Before Watchmen: Doctor Manhattan). Set in Austria in 1975 Hellboy encounters the ghost of a lady in a forest covered in snow. She asks him to save her son before disappearing, after which Hellboy finds a wooden toy elephant. Turns out non-other than Krampus is hunting children in the region.
James Bond: Solstice
James Bond: Solstice is a 2017 one-shot comic published by Dynamite written by and with art by Ibrahim Moustafa (Jaeger). As with every story arc in Dynamite’s James Bond comics, this story can be read independently. After a botched mission in Turkey Bond returns to London. There he gets asked for a rather personal mission by M. A FSB operative has struck up a relationship with a British girl, with the intent of getting into the UK for nefarious reasons. For OO7 this means Christmas in Paris.
Written by Grant Morrison (Happy!) and with art by Dan Mora (Hexed) Klaus started out as a seven-issue comic in 2015 and 2016. Morrison tells the story of Santa Claus from when he was a young man just named Klaus. Making that this comic is sometimes called “Santa Claus: Year One.” A hunter trading is furs, skins and meat, Klaus enters Grimsvig, a town under the rule of Baron Bjorn, during Yule time. Soon it is noticeable things are off. There are no men on the streets and children are forbidden to have toys. When soldiers start harassing some children who dare play with some rocks, Klaus intervenes. Getting a beating and an arrow in the chest for his troubles. Left for death in the woods Klaus survives. Marking the start of his campaign against Baron Bjorn’s rule.
After the success of the original run of Klaus Boom! Studios publish an annual special written by Grant Morrison and with art by Dan Mora. Currently, there are three one-shots: Klaus and the Witch of Winter, Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville, and this year’s Klaus and the Crying Snowman.
The Merry X-Men Holiday Special
Just released by Marvel, The Merry X-Men Holiday Special! Using an Advent calendar style to tell its Christmas story, it features the recently returned Wolverine (see Hunt For Wolverine) and Jean Grey (see Phoenix Resurrection and X-Men Red), Deadpool, Iceman, Magneto, Rogue and Gambit (see X-Men Gold), and many more!
And there you have it! A host of Christmas themed comics that will provide you with enough reading material for the end of the year. Have a good read, Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a happy new year!