web stats

CSBG Archive

Scott’s Classic Comics Corner: 5 Offbeat Christmas Classics

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

6 Comments

Man, where do I get one of those Hate-Monger ornaments? And yeah, I think I only have three of these (X-Men, B&tB, MTIO), but they’re great stuff.

Ah, X-men # 143. My memories of that issue are bittersweet: it features a great done-in-one story (so good that I wasn’t even put off by the focus on Kitty, a character I didn’t like much at the time), but it’s also the last issue drawn by Byrne – and inked by Austin. I still recall how devastated the young me was when I read the little announcement to that effect in that issue’s letters page. . .

I wish the market could still support comics like these.

@ Bill Reed:

Amen.

Cool looking stuff, have to keep an eye out when back issue bin diving.

I was just reading the Ghost Rider Essential volume 1, and was annoyed that they didn’t include the Marvel Two In One issue above, or another issue (M. TeamUp, I think) that some of the GR issues referenced, let alone the Champions issues GR was a part of. This one above sounds delightfully kooky.

I reread the bit about Terry Austin. I thought you meant you saw him this year, because I was going to ask how he was, as I seem to recall hearing something about his health. (Not sure what it was, and I hope it was nothing serious.) Great inker, really improves Byrne’s stuff.

Marvel Team-Up #79 FTW ! (That would be the one where Peter Parker and the only other teetotaler at the Daily Bugle Christmas party are dispatched to investigate a museum break-in where they encounter . . . wait for it . . . Red Sonja ?!? )

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives