BOOM! Studios is an excellent company. Yes, they work with excellent talent, but they only let stories with a certain intelligence through their gate. Titles that stimulate with a level of off-kilter creative ingenuity that don’t need to be seen simply as “edgy” to be worth buying for a sophisticated, adult crowd.
Grant Morrison has stepped into their house with another of his Christmas-themed story, the previous being Happy (an Image title), but this goes for the throat of Christmas by telling a “year one” Santa Clause tale.
The landscape is hills, trees and snow, villages, castles, and keeps. Klaus is a trapper and trader, unable to go to his normal town for trading. He returns to a place he hasn’t been to in some time, Grimsvig. Like in many Zatoichi the blind swordsman tales, he finds the village to be a lot less happy than when he left it.
Under the new rule of a Game of Thrones, Grinch-like tyrant, the people of Grimsvig slave in the mines all day, even during Yuletide feast, while the children are not allowed to play or have toys. In fact, a boy with a stone is harassed by the local guards because anything could be a toy. They push too far for Klaus’ comfort, and he pushes back – enough to get him in hotter water.
Morrison excels at mythology, and Santa Clause is probably one of the most well-known myths in our modern pop culture. To see a darker side of that full of magic and mysticism is pretty enjoyable so far. You can see the groundwork being laid for the Santa Clause we all know, though the path looks like it will be a bit different.
Everything else here is pretty solid. Dan Mora’s artwork reminds me of Andy Kubert’s work – the coloring and the lettering. A worthy team has been assembled, and I look forward to where Morrison will take this.