Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville #1 from BOOM! Studios from Grant Morrison, Dan Mora, and Ed Dukeshire continues the creators peculiarly action-packed update of Santa Claus for the modern action-adventure fan generation.
And the great thing is: they are able to do it without losing any of the sweetness and light that a good, classic Christmas tale should have, but merely adding into the mix darkness, corporate greed, and multidimensional alien doppelgangers.
What is an especially fun (and quite poignant) element to this particular tale of the burly, hairy Santa Klaus is his conflict in the manufactured forever Christmas town of Xmasville. The town was created by Pola-Cola, a less than benevolent corporation that has come into conflict with Klaus due to their attempts to capture and control the holiday and rebrand it as Xmas: an all-purpose holiday that they can control.
Anyone with a passing familiarity to the history of the red-clothed Santa Claus that have become the culturally accepted as fact version of the jolly gift giver thanks to Coca-Cola might get a little extra kick out of that context.
However, this is also a Christmas story coming in a year that for many has been pretty dark and oppressive, and that has also featured a major comics event from another publisher involving dark realities and twisted alter-selves. Morrison crafts a Christmas tale that fits all of that in here and still holds its own message of hope, light and most of all, imagination, for such times.
Mora's artwork is gorgeous, with a wonderful painted-style colour palette and well-conveyed action sequences. It's really quite stunning to look at — and not just because his Klaus is one hot daddy.
It's gorgeous, and all together has a weird mix of both modern adventure comics and classic Hallmark festive cards about it, that again evokes the season of which Klaus has become the patron.
Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville #1 is a beautiful and fun entry to comics Christmas stories, and well worth a read if you need something with a bit of brightness and sweetness this cold Holiday Season.