Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
This week I’m taking a look at some of my favourite Christmas-themed comic book stories.
OK, so Uncanny X-Men #143 focuses on a battle between a bloodthirsty alien and a young Jewish girl, but it still counts as a Christmas story. Kitty is left alone in the mansion, and is visited by an uninvited guest. Kitty grows up in a hurry. I love this story, and would probably place it in my top 10 single issues of all-time. It is also one of the rare pure Terry Austin covers from this era. I met the super nice Mr. Austin at a convention several years ago and had him sign my copy.
Brave and the Bold #148 was a favourite of mine as a child, and it still holds up quite well today. Batman encounters a rather down and out Plastic Man. I really like the relationship between Batman and Plas in this issue, as Batman truly seems to be concerned with his buddy’s state of mental health. Of course, stopping the bad guys is always good for one’s self-esteem.
I think the Joe Kubert’s cover to The Unexpected #220 is about as close to perfection as you can get. The ‘Season’s Greetings’ banner is also a nice touch. It’s actually not a true Christmas issue, as some of the stories could have been published at any time of the year. The lead tale, “Santa Is a Killer” is terrific, as it provides the reader with a fun twist on EC’s famous “And All Through the House…” story.
Marvel Two-In-One #8 is another strange Christmas story that could only have come out of the 70s. A strange star has appeared in the heavens above Arizona. The next thing you know, Ben Grimm and Ghost Rider and investigating some sort of Twilight Zone version of Jerusalem. It’s pretty kooky, but Sal Buscema’s clean artwork keeps it grounded.
Finally, I’ll leave with Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #10, which is fun as the good Colonel has a much more exciting Christmas Eve than I’ve ever had. The Hate Monger is about as far from Santa Claus as you can get. I know this isn’t a Steranko drawn issue, but I have always enjoyed Frank Springer work on this title and felt it was terribly underrated.
That’s it until the new year folks. Have a great holiday season and check out my blog: Seduction of the Indifferent
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