Twenty-One Christmassy Thoughts About Twenty-One Comics – Avengers, Forever Evil, Origin II, Justice League, Saviors, Robotech/Voltron, Doctor Who, Action Bible, Alter Ego, Hide, Sir Roland, Winter City, Trench Coat Samurai, Synergy, 1001 Nights, The Bunker, Chainmail, Monsters Of The Silver Age, Rocket Robinson, Strange Symmetry And Slumdroid

Not many comics out in print today. Don't worry, we have a solution. Keep reading.


Avengers #24.NOW is the most Christmassy comic book printed today, in so far as much as it actually gets mentioned. And also shows us that the Avengers from 3030 also know Christmas. Fox News, relax, your war on War Against Christmas is unnecessary.


Origin II #1 gives us snow, which is also pretty Christmassy. And a Polar bear dropped in a forest, which is a bit Losty. And lots of blood in the snow which is just gross.



Forever Evil #4 may not be Christmassy but we do have a pregnancy. Possibly. Probably not an immaculate conception however. Could this also be foreshadowing to a child between Superman and Wonder Woman in Five Years Later? Possibly…

IDW's final Doctor Who story, written by Doctor Who TV writer Paul Cornell is about Doctor Who. Literally. A parallel universe that's our own, and the Doctor stumbling over the production of his own show, that is still following his life. And set a little before the Christmas episode as well it seems.


Good Christmas message about love, respect, peace and goodwill. But also what to do when there's not enough of that to go around. And a proper love letter to the show and its fans… Though thankfully only the show, and not the fan fiction above actually happened in the Doctor's life. Or did it? Lots of uberfan spotting as well…


Justice League #26 gives us a Grid point of view on the world, and a butler willing to dole out class A drugs. If I was that prisoner, I'd just sit back and enjoy the horse tranquilizers, and hope I don't hallucinate too much, Brody-style.

IMG_0021Talking of which, Saviors #1. Just because you've been smoking copious amounts of weed when you see lizard aliens masquerading as normal member of society, doesn't mean they aren't there. Just that they probably aren't.

Layout 1

Robotech/Voltron #1 launches and to be frank I'm quite happy with that plot development. Never really liked either. Naturally your mileage may vary.

Those comics were courtesy of Orbital Comics of London, open all day on Christmas Eve, still showing the Portland Comics Exhibition for a few more days.

But the following… are not. Digital first comics, also available today, but from ComiXology.

And we start with the most Christmassy of them all. By actually being the Bible in comic book form.


The Action Bible by Doug Mauss and Sergio Cariello, features hundreds of pages of comics for $10, it's definitely the bargain of the day. Although, of course, its not all puppies and kittens.


Charming. Okay, anything else with a touch of Christmas?


Well, Alter Ego #3 by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas and Ron Harris… well that's Crimson Claw not Santa Claus getting a secret origin.


Merry Christmas everyone! Look one of the toys has a Santa hat…

That's Hide #1, by Vernon Smith, with one hell of a strong concept. All the adults suddenly have to kill all the children. So all the children have to… hide.

Okay, is there anything Christmassy anywhere?


Sir Roland by Peter Timony, all about ogres and knights and stuff. Very Yonderland, very silly, its not all the toilet humour the above might suggest, with sentient armour and derring do. And with a bit of winter yuletide as well…


Winter City #1 by Carl Purcell and Patrick Purcell gives us the time of year as well, in a rough and ready crime series, with glimpses of Grim Reapers.

As well snow in the city over a landscape of the buildings and a television news report of local bloody crime.

Cut to…


Trench Coat Samurai by Adam Markiewicz is a very pretty book that brings us violence, nudity, action but more than that, a brain. But sadly a cityscape without snow. It's just a lot less Christmassy when the snow and the blood don't mix.


And Synergy by John Still, another news report about crime but sans cityscape. A boy discovering superhero legacy against the backdrop of political corruption., I wonder if one with oppose the other in some form in issues to come?

photo1001 Nights #3 by Larry Raskin, Colin Yardley and Alex Basio manages to reframe the concept of the Arabian nights, rather than a woman saving her life with a cliffhanger story every night, until the cruel broken hearted sultan, murdering every one of his virgin brides, fell in love with her (and all the extreme sexual politicsthat brings with it)… now telling bedtime stories in the palace. Which doesn't exactly increase the stakes. Although it does end up having an Israeli/Palestine allegory along the way.


The Bunker #5 by Joshua Fialkov and Joe Infurnari is a real star turn, and reminds me of Bratpack movies such as Flatliners, but with impressive use of the F word in various different ways. You know, "fuck". Again and again and again.

But there's one book that stands out for me for very different uses of language. I'm talking about Chainmail #1 by Matt Skuce. Which starts off with an apology.


But is it really necessary? The art style does change through the book from this:


To this:


But did we need to grant forgiveness for that?


Monsters Of The Silver Age #1 by John Nelson is a very entertaining silly mock-silver age comic book that revels in its sketchy recreation of a bygone age – and bygone exposition. I mean, remind me, who the hell is Immortal Victor (for it is he) talking to here?


But for a very different blast from the past, try Rocket Robinson and the Pharaoh's Fortune by Sean O'Neill,something very interesting indeed. It is, for all intents and purposes, a modern day Tintin. European cities, a young boy/man travelling from one to another (though with a father figure unaware of his antics) with a pet monkey, suspicious men with eye patches, strong simple lines with knocked back colours, and both action adventure and derring do. A really interesting comic, especially for one who doesn't like Tintin. This, I like.



Strange Symmetry #1 by Dennis Lo is a beautiful looking manga title, that perfects that trick of showing the mundane. repeatedly with standard panel storytelling, then repeatedly breaking it out when anything starts to "happen". It makes for a dynamic page and an exciting Christmas Eve. And coupled with a story about a girl who has had a mad life just looking for a normality that seems to keep escaping it, what with demons and dimensions and all, it's an ideal marriage of story and form.


But it's Slumdroid: The Girl With The Hole In Her Head by Ben Dickson and Tony Suleri which could be my comic of the Christmas week. And though not having any Christmassy details, there's an overall message of love and understanding that's perfect for this week, as well as an art style that marries the plots of Westerns through traditional comic book storytelling with a penline the breaks free of what might be expected, portraying scenes more organically and with vibrance. It reminds me of the first time I picked up Paul Pope's THB after preordering it on a whim.

Doug Mauss
Drawn by Sergio Cariello

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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