Saturday, 31 December 2016

Annual Chrismas Round-Up 2016

Happy Life Day everyone. There was more than the usual number of Holiday-themed comics this year (or I just found more) so let's crack on!

To Beanotown! Where Christmas is threatened due to an evil plan by Walter...

 And Calamity James contracts classic comics disease spottyitis, but gets a George Bailey ending.

This is from the Beano Annual 2017, the Bash Street Teacher gets Dickensed

And from this year's Dandy Annual, Brassneck discovers he is a Transformer. Albeit a rubbish one.

And at the adult end of the humour comics, here's this year's Viz round-up

Fru T. Bunn made Christmas puddings... 

There was a delightful Broons pastiche featuring the Royal family called The Broon Windsors 

Lord Kitchener finds his pointing skills hamper his work as Santa 

And 8 Ace has a visit from a Snow-Can 
Here's the best cartoons from Private Eye

And in 2000AD:
Seasonal cheer hits Megacity One

The Ace Trucking Company takes a swipe at Amazon 
From there to that other sci-fi mainstay Doctor Who Magazine

Danger Mouse encounters this year's hottest toy: Fuzby!
Which turns out to be part of an evil plot by the Snowman (read this in the voice of Richard Ayoade for maximum effect) 
Another evil plot, this one by the Phantom Blot, is thwarted in Mickey and Donald Christmas Parade
The lead story in this anthology of European Disney comics translated to English for the first time is from Sweden's Kalle Ankas Pocket 422 and features time travelling to ruin Christmas in the 1950s to make the people of the present hate it. It's bonkers and great fun and features your actual Santa fighting robots with Huey, Louie and Dewey. 
Over in the superhero comics we got an origin for the Rebirth-era Ace the Bat-Hound!
Batman Annual was a lovely anthology that featured two riffs on the classic story The Silent Night of the Batman from 1970. The second featured Harley Quinn. And the first of many appearances of this song
Batman shuts her up quite quickly but she got to finish it over on Scooby Doo Team-Up 21
It even turned up as a ring tone for Luke Cage in Power Man and Iron Fist Annual (a story called - what else? - Sweet Christmas)
Now let's hear it sung properly....
Oh, Squid Bits.... Okay let's pay a call on The Phoenix 

But back to Scooby Doo Team-Up. Harley wants to join Mystery Inc but there investigation of the Christmassy ghost is interrupted by this guy...
Scooby Doo Team-Up delights in bringing up weird obscure bits of forgotten comics lore but I was not prepared for this:
The return of Gaggy! The Joker's original sidekick! From a 1966 Gardner Fox/Sheldon Moldoff story! 

There was possibly a record number of Santa appearances in superhero comics this year but also a surprising number of Krampus spots.

Ash is confronted in Evil Dead 2: Revenge of Krampus
Lucifer 13 has this
Technically people dressed as Krampus.

And the aforementioned Power Man and Iron Fist Annual features the returning Krampus being fought off by Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Santa Satan
All of which leads to the return of Santa himself, who has been laying low waiting for Krampus to get cocky
I sincerely hope this is the new canonical story Santa in the Marvel Universe.

Harley Quinn 10 features our anti-heroine saving Santa.... FROM HIMSELF!!

Detective Chimp is hired by.... someone to find his lost.... animal
in DC Rebirth Holiday Special 1

And in Klaus and the Witch of Winter (the first spin-off from Grant Morrison and Dan Mora's excellent Santa origin story, pulling threads from various European folk tales) we are introduced to the various avatars of Winter that make up the modern-day Santa, including St Nicholas and Father Christmas
It's The League of Extraordinary Santas!

Evil Dead 2: A Very Deadite Christmas sees Ash fighting his original nemeses in a theme park

The DC Rebirth Holiday Special (hosted by Harley Quinn - they really got their money's worth out of her this year, didn't they) was the best at showing the diverse celebrations of the season

(and the unexpected return of the Penny Plunderer!) 
John Constantine celebrates the Solstice with Wonder Woman 
New Superman taught us about Dongzhi and DC's most prominent Jewish hero, Batwoman, has a peaceful Hannukah  
And I learned of Mexican traditions for Epiphany from Green Lanterns 

I don't think anyone got left out. Did they?
Spider-man Deadpool 12 featured the return of Roman god Saturn, annoyed that his feast of Saturnalia is no longer celebrated. Well, good news. It may be forgotten on Earth....
The Simpson Annual 2017 (UK) also featured Homer doing Die Hard

The Giant Days Holiday Special 2016 gave us a glimpse into an alternate reality in a full-on What If? pastiche
Best of all this year was Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-up wherein Gwen finds herself in a world where the Christmas traditions she knew were radically altered. Reality has changed and only she can tell!

Now Santa has been replaced by a benevolent Galactus, carols are about fish and people get gifts of hotpants every Pantsgiving.

An anthology awaits with various characters we love in this strange world. Spider-Man (Mile Morales) takes a trip to the mall, ignores Ned and Maude Flanders
before defeating a bunch of big bads with the help of a magical visit from jolly old Galactus himself 
Of course, no-one believes him.

Even The Punisher celebrates Pantsgiving 
And the Red Skull, Captain America's greatest enemy, is feeling dejected at this time of year. It's time for a festive message from a ghostly presence to lift his spirits.

And who else could that be? 
Might be the single greatest comics moment of the year.

Anyway, it turns out that Gwen finds the perpetrator of this reality shift 
It's that man again.

Also in this issue is a back-up Deadpool story set at Halloween (oh, Deadpool, you so wacky) 
I wouldn't have mentioned it if not for the child in the Eleven costume.

I'll wrap this up with one final image from the Gwenpool special, in tribute to someone we lost on Christmas Day itself. 

Happy New Year, readers!