So there’s this large bearded guy in a flashy suit who invades billions of homes to give presents to kids he’s been observing over the past year and then eat their parents’ food. Life shouldn’t get any crazier than that. Yet here we are, with a selection of comics that somehow manage to out crazy Kris Kringle and his eight magical flying reindeer.
Comic books aren’t really known for being based in reality. But there’s just something about the Christmas season that brings out the best in things. Which is why the artists and writers filling our heads with visions of superheroes, samurais and Krampuses seem to out do themselves when it comes to adding a little extra weird to this time of year. We’ve already counted down the best Santa beatdowns the season has to offer, so why not now take the good cheer one stocking further with some of the strangest stories ever told.
Here are the 15 Most WTF Christmas Comics of All-Time.
15. The Ultimate Warrior X-Mas Special
That’s right, folks; everyone’s favorite high-flying, tassel-wearing, face-painted, incomprehensible World Wrestling Federation superstar, is about to sexually assault Santa Claus. If you grew up in the ’80s, then you’re probably familiar with Warrior’s brand of high-octane lunacy. His comic series is much of the same, only on crack.
The Warrior X-Mas special is one of five comics the Ultimate Warrior found time to pen after retiring from wrestling. Lacking all sense of cohesion or decency, they are based on his made-up philosophy, Destrucity: “the truce between one’s destiny and one’s reality.” His Christmas Special is particularly mystifying in that it forgoes all sense of story and replaces it with a collection of pin-ups featuring Warrior doing murderous and sexual things to Santa, his reindeer, the elves and innocent children, all in hopes of getting his hands on some nude Barbies. He also parties with hobos and fights a purple octopus. If you ever wondered what it was like to spend Christmas inside the mind of a lunatic, this is it.
14. Samurai Santa Comes to Town
Remember Solson comics? Probably not. Though how could you forget such hits as Sultry Teenage Super-Foxes and Reagan’s Raiders? Well just like everyone else with a pencil and crap idea, Solson got in on the holiday cash cow with its own awful Christmas special. Which sounds ridiculous, because a Santa samurai should be a recipe for foolproof awesome. Guess that’s what an unashamed mixture of religion and racism will get you.
Samurai Santa starts off as a department store Santa gets wasted and the manager is tasked with finding another employee to fill in. Someone recommends asking the new guy behind the “jap robot counter.” Also known as Sam, he’s more than happy to turn in the kimono he oddly wears to work for the big red suit. After listening to underprivileged kids talk about what they want for Christmas, Sam decides what they really need aren’t toys, but more religion. So he starts passing out pseudo-bibles. This pisses off the store manager, so he dresses up as another Santa and tries to kill Sam with a crossbow (naturally). Sam takes him out with the katana he’s been hiding in the suit all along and then quits, fed up with consumerism ruining the true meaning of Christmas. In the end, it’s loosely implied that Sam was Jesus the entire time. A Samurai Santa Jesus? How could you mess that up? Come on, Solson.
13. The Marvel Holiday Special Reveals the Most Powerful Mutant Ever
Ever wondered who the most powerful mutant ever created was? The 1991 Marvel Holiday Special revealed this nugget of truth when the mutant-detecting supercomputer Cerebro drops everyone’s sugar plums with a super sighting in Rockefeller Center. The X-Men jump into action, eager to enlist the new recruit. When they arrive on the scene, they learn the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has had the same idea. But when the supervillains instantly get turned into action figures and the heroes teleported away with their memories erased, it’s clear that they’ve all met their merry match.
Omega-level mutants are the créme de la créme of the X-Men. Characterized by the abilities to control matter and energy, there are supposedly only eleven in existence, give or take a Storm. But you know who’s stronger than them all? Santa Claus. That’s right, the likes of Franklin Richards and Jean Grey got nothing on jolly ole St. Nick. All of this kind of makes sense when you consider some of the crazy things he can do. All of this kind of makes sense when you consider some of the crazy things he can do, like bend the space-time continuum to eat an entire planet’s worth of cookies in one night. Good luck topping that, Iceman.
12. Captain America Saves Santa From Hitler
It wouldn’t be the holidays without at least one mention of Hitler. Ours comes from Marvel Age #109, when Captain America takes a break from waxing his shield to tell some orphans a Christmas story about himself. Specifically, the time he stopped Adolf Hitler from shooting Santa Claus in the head.
It was December of 1943, and the Nazi dictator had just kidnapped Santa in a diabolical plot to destroy U.S. morale. And there’s a good chance it would have worked, but thankfully, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent Captain America along with Nick Fury, Bucky Barnes, and the rest of the Howling Commandos behind enemy lines to rescue him. We never actually learn the outcome of this battle, because one of the kids listening interrupts to ask Cap if there really is such a thing as a Hitler. Rest assured, Der Furher didn’t have a very merry Christmas that year.
11. The Justice League Fails to Solve Santa’s Murder
The “Man Who Murdered Santa Claus” is a classic Who Dunnit tale where they never catch the killer and Hal Jordan slips on a bar of soap. Starting off with a bang, on the second page of Justice League of America #110, Santa gets blown up. Luckily, when Superman and Batman shift through the rubble, they find his lifeless body holding a key, along with a poorly written poem telling them to go to St. Louis.
Technically, this isn’t the real Santa. It’s Santa Simpson, a good samaritan who’s helping Bats and Supes bring gifts to orphans. Which makes it all the more terrible when he dies and all Superman can muster is, “Sorry chum, but there’s nothing we can do for him.” So instead, they call in the rest of the Justice League to read the poem. But because Flash is meeting his wife’s parents in the future, Aquaman is celebrating Hanukkah, and Hal Jordan has yet to master getting out of the shower, we have to settle for the JLA B-team. This goes horribly wrong when every member, including Superman, apparently gets killed off. But thanks to the sudden appearance of the Phantom Stranger the whole thing turns out to be a ruse. It all ends on a sour note when the villain gets away after blowing up a city block and then a more happy note when Red Tornado gets a new outfit for Christmas. As for Santa no one ever mentions him again, nor the orphans presumably still waiting for their gifts.
This goes horribly wrong when every member, including Superman, apparently gets killed off. But thanks to the sudden appearance of the Phantom Stranger, the whole thing turns out to be a ruse. It all ends on a sour note when the villain gets away after blowing up a city block, and then a more happy note when Red Tornado gets a new outfit for Christmas. As for Santa, no one ever mentions him again — nor the orphans presumably still waiting for their gifts.
10. Constantine Snorts the Ashes of Santa
John Constantine is a cynical badass who could care less about Santa and the sleigh he rode in on. Combine that with a detached willingness to get the job done no matter what the cost, and we’re left with a holiday classic in the waiting. While not technically a Christmas comic, Hellblazer #247 warrants inclusion because it’s not every day you get to see someone snort the remains of Santa Claus.
Like most of us are wont to do, Constantine is out to learn about his ancestry. But where the average person would just spend a few hours twiddling around with family trees online, Constantine digs up the 1,700 year-old corpse of an Italian bishop named Agios Nikolaus — the real life inspiration behind Santa Claus. It turns out that the dusty, skeletal remains of St. Nick are a key ingredient to invoke an ancient occult ritual that will allow Constantine to get in touch with his roots. So he exhumes the body, grinds the bones into powder, and then snorts them. Why anyone hasn’t turned this one into a Christmas carol yet is beyond us.
9. A Blind Kid Mistakes Ghost Rider for Santa Claus
Kids are always on the lookout for the big guy. Being little and having tiny brains, they also get confused easily. But mistaking a skeleton who’s head is on fire for a large white-bearded man in a red and white suit? That’s a bit far-fetched. Marvel apparently agrees, which is why on top of everything else, they also decided to make the four-year-old Willie blind. That way, we could get the delightful Christmas moment when a young boy once mistook Ghost Rider for Santa Claus.
A blind boy is kidnapped on Christmas Eve so some thugs can extort his family for money. The kid manages to get away and flee into a cemetery, where he starts praying that Santa save him. One of thugs catches up, tells him Santa is dead, and then slaps the kid in the face. That’s when the Spirit of Vengeance appears and starts whipping the yuletide out of everyone nearby. The boy mistakes the sound of the Rider’s chain for bells, and when he feels the large leather boots on his feet, he’s convinced Santa heard his cries for help. After Ghost Rider gives the bad guys the Penance Stare for Christmas, he carries the boy onto his fiery bike (which Willie takes for a sleigh led by Rudolph) and returns him safely home. He the races off across the rooftops and out of sight. Maybe Ghost Rider is Santa Claus after all?
8. Santa the Barbarian
Remember that one episode of Xena: Warrior Princess where Xena meets Santa Claus and the baby Jesus? Santa the Barbarian is kind of like that, only crazier and with worse puns. The premise goes something like this: Santa is a barbarian. That’s pretty much all you need to know to figure out what happens in not one, but two completely unrelated barbarous stories.
The first details Santa realizing that his Naughty List is taking up too much room at the North Pole, so he decides to kill everyone on it to clear up some space. The highlight comes when it’s revealed Rudolph flies Santa’s sleigh using the power of his farts. The second concerns Santa fighting a giant Santa-killing robot built by the elves in an attempt to break free of his tyranny. This one concludes with Santa the Barbarian hearing the lamentations of a barley dressed female elf as she dances before him. Oh yeah, and at one point, he kills Hitler (or at least someone that looks suspiciously like him) with the memorable line, “Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good knife.” The written word just doesn’t get any better than that.
7. Terror Inc Shanks a Hobo to Save Christmas
Terror Inc was a by-product of the ’90s comic boom, when everyone and their mother were churning out low-grade fare. The title character is a knight from the Middle Ages cursed with a demon-face, spiked whiskers and eternally rotting flesh. He survived to the modern day thanks to an ability to graft parts of other people’s dead bodies to his own, which also provided him with the skills and experiences they had while alive. Presently, he runs a detective agency while moonlighting as a hitman. Was there ever a better candidate for a Christmas special?
Terror Inc #8 begins when a mob accountant on death row pays Terror half a million bucks to give his family a happy Christmas. So Terror cuts off the guys hand and attaches it to himself so it can feel up the wife and pat his son Henry on the head one last time. Unfortunately, the mob crashes the touching moment by trying to murder everyone. A car chase ensues, in which Terror gets smashed up and loses both his legs. But don’t worry, he has the boy drag him into a nearby alley, where Terror shanks a hobo to death so he can saw off the bum’s legs to use as his own. From there on out its thistles and whistles as Terror Inc wipes out the mob, makes paper ornaments back at the house, creepily kisses Henry on the forehead while he sleeps, leaves $150K for the family, and eats a cookie before heading out the door. All and all, twas a pretty wonderful Christmas for everyone. Except the mob. And the hobo.
6. Tarot the Witch Has Sex with Krampus
If you’re not familiar with Tarot: Witch of the Rose, it’s an adults-only comic featuring the titular young witch named Tarot and her fight against the forces of darkness and clothing. Bouncing from one ludicrous sex-charged plot to another, the series can probably be best summed up in the quote: “You have to get out of here! Your vagina is haunted!” Suffice to say, it’s the kind of comic you wouldn’t want your significant other/boss/dog catching you reading.
The 2006 Christmas special entitled “Holiday Witches” doesn’t do much in the way of improving the sin. During the witchity holiday of Yule, Tarot and friends celebrate by having a snowball fight and using sex magick to get naked while sledding. The issue also includes a backstory where the witchette Spellarella throws a holiday party for her monster friends and gets stripped, liquored up, and nearly ripped apart by Frankenstein.
But it could be worse. We could get Tarot’s 2014 holiday themed issue, when she visits Austria to stop several monstrous Krampuses from drowning children in a lake, but instead ends up getting really drunk and having sex with them. Or the follow-up issue, when Tarot returns to Austria, only this time with her sister who, after getting spanked by the Krampuses, also gets really drunk and throws up on one of them. Surprisingly enough, this is too much for the Krampuses to handle, so they leave Austria for good. In other words, it’s good family fun.
5. Santa and Jesus Fight Over Christmas
Long before Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore hit it big with The Walking Dead, there was Battle Pope. This ecclesiastical exercise in comic blasphemy followed the post-apocalytic adventures of Pope Oswald Leopold II and his sidekick, Jesus. Together, they are mankind’s last chance against a world overrun with demons following the Rapture. The Christmas special kicks the sacrilegious debauchery up a notch, and is exactly what you’d expect from a comic where the Pope gives Jesus a blow-up doll on the cover.
As the story goes, Santa has been left by Mrs. Claus and is now living in a dumpster after God condemning the entire planet has put him out of business. Meanwhile, Jesus is sad the holidays are overshadowing his birthday. Both rue the day the other was immaculately conceived. They eventually meet. They fight. Jesus karate chops Santa in the nuts. An elf makes Chuck Norris cry. Battle Pope has sex with the not-so-virgin Mary. Everyone forgives one another and gets Jesus a cake. All and all, reading the Battle Pope Christmas Special is a surefire way to get struck by lightning this holiday season.
4. Batman Sings Christmas Carols with the Police
Batman loves fighting people on Christmas. He even once fought a bear because it was ruining Gotham’s tree lighting ceremony. That’s why it’s so surprising then that during Batman #219, he gave his fists the night off so he could sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with the GCPD.
It all goes down after Commissioner Gordon invites the Dark Knight to take a night off and join several members of the Gotham City Police Department in the badassest acapella group ever assembled. Bats enjoys belting out “Jingle Bells” so much that before he knows it, the sun is rising. It turns out that Batman singing must be just as fearsome as Batman kicking you in the face, because while the Caped Crusader is caroling the crap out of Christmas, not a single crime takes place the entire night.
By far, the strangest part of this tale is that they don’t even go out and sing so people can hear them (which is kind of the whole point of caroling). Instead, the group of grown men just hang out at the department and sing at one another. Imagine walking into a precinct on Christmas and seeing Batman standing around in a circle with a bunch of cops crooning “Silent Night.” WTF, Bats?
3. The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special
Lobo could give a crap about Christmas. Which is why when the Easter Bunny asks the meanest bastich in the universe to kill Santa Claus, he doesn’t bat an eye. Mind you, the St. Nick of The Lobo Paramilitary Special isn’t your typical jolly elf who’s belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly. This one smokes cigars, has a mouth like a sailor, runs a militant toy making operation, hangs around gorillas, and is just as likely to cut you as put a coal in your stocking.
When you killed all the other members of your race just so you could be unique, there’s probably not a whole lot of good will in your heart. But if there was any left, the Main Man blew it straight to the North Pole after dismembering the elves and shooting Rudolph in the head, and dueling with Santa. He gives St. Nick the choice of weapon. Santa chooses blades. They have a knife fight. Lobo punches Santa’s eye out. Some nearby penguins cheer. Santa asks if they can make a deal. Lobo decapitates him. The whole thing ends with the Last Czarnian raiding Santa’s workshop, grabbing the naughty and nice list, forcing the remaining elves to build some bombs, and then merrily dropping them on everyone’s houses while riding in Santa’s sleigh.
2. Superman Merrily Punches the Fat Out of Santa
A wealthy tycoon who hates the holidays decides to fly up to the North Pole and murder Christmas. He knocks on Santa’s door and tricks him and the reindeer into eating some chocolates that inexplicably make them all twice as fat. Santa is left with no choice but to call off Christmas on account of not being able to fit down chimneys anymore. In times like these, there is only one person who can save the day in the most convoluted of ways – Silver Age Superman.
First off, Santa, do not take chocolates from random people that just show up at your door. Secondly, you’re the most powerful mutant in the universe; if Tim Allen can figure the chimney thing out, so can you. And thirdly, whatever you do, don’t ask Superman for help. That guy has made a career out of casually ruining people’s lives. Just ask the fattest girl in Metropolis.
Of course, during Action Comics #105, Santa ignores this advice and ends up enrolling in the Man of Steel’s Super Slimnastics. This entails Superman repeatedly trying to punch the fat off Santa. When that doesn’t work, he resorts to scaring the fat off by throwing Kris Kringle at an erupting volcano. To finish the job, he has Santa sweat the fat off by dancing with several women dressed as clowns. Because how do you lose weight?
1. The Seal Men’s War on Santa Claus
What do you get when you combine a masked dude who invades the dreams of young children with a fat guy who spies on them before breaking into their homes? Quite simply, the craziest Christmas adventure the comic world has ever known.
Tell us if you’ve heard this one before. The Lord of Dreams visits the Nightmare Wizard’s castle to borrow a parka so he can take a young boy named Jed to the North Pole to prove to him that Santa Claus is real. Upon arriving, they find Santa has been kidnapped by seal people who are pissed that they got gloves and scuba gear for Christmas. Sandman frees St. Nick using his trusty hypnosonic whistle, and Santa celebrates by fist-fighting the Seal Men. With one problem solved, another arises when an old rich guy’s nephew holds Mrs. Claus at gunpoint so he can inherit his uncle’s fortunes, only to have Sandman arrive in the nick of time and throw sand in his eyes. Jed then wins a million dollars, Sandman disappears forever, and Santa lets the rich guy drive the sleigh for Christmas.
And that, boys and girls, is how it’s done.
Are there any other crazy Christmas comics out there? Let us know in the comments.