Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a very merry episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out. Except that this Wednesday is Christmas. So new books will be out on Thursday but honestly there’s not a whole lot that’s interesting this week. Marvel has a new event book, Incoming, launching and Donny Cates’ Venom Island story arc starts, but that’s pretty much it. So in the spirit of the holidays, here’s some comics to put you in the Christmas mood.
The Top of the Pile: X-Men #143
Publisher: Marvel 1981
Words: Chris Claremont
Art: John Byrne
What it is: When Kitty Pryde is left behind at the mansion alone, she’s attached by a N’garai demon. Can the newest X-Man handle the villain all by her lonesome?
Why we love it: It’s like if Home Alone and Aliens got together and had a mutant baby. That’s what this classic X-Men issue is. It also marks the final issue of Chris Claremont’s legendary run on X-Men.
The Mainstream One: Spectacular Spider-man #112
Publisher: Marvel 1986
Words: Peter David
Art: Mark Beachum
What it is: You never make a sound
Why we like it: Peter’s is suffering from a bad case of the Charlie Browns on Christmas. It’s looking like the holidays are going to be spoiled until a chance encounter with the real-deal Santa Clause gifts him with the spirit of the season.
The Indie One: Solson Christmas Special Samurai Santa #1
Publisher: Solson 1986
Words: Phil Clarke
Art: Don Secrease and Jim Lee
What it is: A holiday-themed parody featuring Phil Clarkes Samurai character from Samurai Funnies (1986).
Why we like it: Samurai Santa is an awesome concept, first of all, but more importantly this is Jim Lee’s first professional work in comics (he inked this issue).
The #1 One: Klaus #1
Publisher: Boom 2015
Words: Grant Morrison
Art: Dan Mora
What it is: Set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the story of how Santa Claus really came to be. Where did he begin? What was he like when he was young? Why does he do what he does? How does he do what he does? And what happens when he faces his greatest challenge? Drawing on Santa Claus’ wilder roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism-taking in the creepier side of Christmas, and characters like the sinister Krampus-Klaus is a ‘Santa Claus: Year One.’
Why we like it: Grant Morrison reshapes the Santa mythos into a fantasy adventure in the style of Game of Thrones. Santastic.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Catwoman #6
Publisher: DC 2018
Words and art: Joelle Jones
Cover Art: Artgerm
What it is: A secret hideout is supposed to be just that-secret. So how did her new villain’s criminal crew know where to plant an explosive in Selina’s new pad? As if that blow-up weren’t bad enough, the cops come calling and arrest Selina for murder. Locked up without bail, Catwoman finds that she isn’t very popular in jail, and must fight the other inmates just to stay alive and avoid a shiv. Will she make a deal with her new nemesis, that cagey Creel, or is orange the new black for Selina’s foreseeable future?
Why we like it: Someone didn’t make the “nice” list this year.
That’s all I got this week. Happy Holidays everyone! Until next time, carpe comics!