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‘Sleigher: The Heavy Metal Santa Claus’ – Advance Comic Book Review

This Christmas, every stocking will be filled with Santa’s foot in your a**.

I’ve always been of fan of people taking myth and using it in new stories. Jim Butcher mostly makes his living doing just that. I really don’t think that any myths are beyond the reach of such treatments, even ones we hold dear today like dear old Saint Nick. I mean, the Robot Santa episodes are some of my favorites in the run of Futurama.  Much like that fun take on the world’s most famous Elf, Sleigher: Heavy Metal Santa Claus from Action Lab: Danger Zone is full of charm, wit, and much, much a**-kicking.  If you wondered what it would be like if The Santa Clause starred Lemmy instead of Tim Allen, this is a book you’re gonna love.

Rob Harrington has built for us a comic that doesn’t ask much but to roll with its conceit: A heavy metal-loving biker brawler dons the mantle of the Claus to beat back the demons of…well, so far a dirty cardinal and some really ugly troll things.  I’m thinking we’ll get more explanation as we go along, but the primary goal is pure fun.  This is the kind of book that is just great to go through and enjoy without having to concern yourself with decades of cannon to trip you up. It’s in your face and unapologetic much in the same vein as Shoot ’em Up or Gremlins.  Sleigher is the baddest rocker in the North Pole, and every character (including his sentient bike/reindeer) is over the top and thoroughly entertaining. The story is a straight-up slam of brawling with a maniacal mastermind causing havoc and sending up enemies to be vanquished in good time.

Far from visions of sugar plums and silent, snow-covered fields, we get a technicolor explosion that is as vibrant and violent as you could ask for.  The action sequences are solid and engaging, and we get to spend enough time with each new character to give us a full appreciation of them.  The art team has a fantastic sense of structure and composition and makes the story really pop.  Every panel in this book will put a smile on your face, unless you’re some kind of heartless grinch or some such.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough for anyone who loves a good bar fight with some whip-smart wit along for the ride.  The word I keep coming back to in my mind is a chuckle, a deep belly laugh that will keep rolling from cover to cover.  Be sure to check it out at your local shop starting on July 27.

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