Aside from the greedy Orange Lantern Larfleeze finding out the true meaning of Christmas, and our beloved Caped Crusader tracking down the Holiday Killer and sharing a meal with Grundy in The Long Halloween, there are plenty of holiday moments in comics that spread the yuletide cheer. Here are just some of the ones you shouldn’t miss, because after all, superheroes celebrate the festive winter season too!
While some holiday comics can talk about happiness and good cheer, some focus on the melancholic aspect of loneliness during the season of family reunions occurring by the warmth of a fireplace. In this quiet panel, we get to see the various ways our favorite caped crime fighters are celebrating Christmas — but with Animal Man lost in space with Adam Strange and Starfire, his wife Ellen Baker is left at home, trying to stay strong. (I’m not crying—YOU’RE crying!)
Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #21: “’Twas the Fight Before X-Mas”
Nothing says peace, goodwill, and more holiday moments in comics better than shenanigans at an office Christmas party. Tasked by J. Jonah Jameson to get last-minute Christmas presents for Mrs. Jameson, Peter Parker needs to run out of the office and instead gets dragged into encounters with Medusa, Crystal, and the Fantastic Four. Written by the late Darwyn Cooke, this story definitely brings some lighthearted holiday fun and perfectly portrays the panic one experiences while dealing with an incomplete shopping list on Christmas Eve.
Batman Annual #1: “Good Boy”
The best holiday moments in comics are the ones that focus on family, and nothing stresses the importance of family more than second chances. In Tom King’s BATMAN ANNUAL #1, we get to see that Batman may not always have the merriest of Christmases, but with Alfred, there’s always room for warmth and forgiveness. The “Rebirth” origins of Ace the Bat-Hound include Alfred taking Ace in to train him and change his rabid nature—and perhaps he sees a little bit of Bruce in the dog as well. When Christmas arrives, Ace transforms into the perfect loving pet.
The Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1
Speaking of heartwarming lightheartedness, it might sound weird for a Batman comic to be anything but dark, but in The Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1 written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Bruce Timm, we get to see just that. As the first comic book holiday tie-in for Batman: The Animated Series, this story features six tales starring Harley and Ivy, Batgirl, Mr. Freeze, and more. The stories are all centered around themes of the holidays, and if the accompanying art of Bruce Timm doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, nothing will.
Marvel Holiday Special 2005
With a story titled “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santron”, you just can’t go wrong. The Avengers holiday special shows you Captain America and Iron Man swapping gifts, and best of all, readers get treated to the lovely sight of Ultron thinking that he is indeed Santa Claus. How can Christmas NOT be the most wonderful time of the year?
What are YOUR favorite holiday reads this Christmas? Do you spend your holidays just like the heroes—and villains—do? We’d love to know your thoughts—and happy holidays, everyone!