"Santa Claus vs. The Nazis" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Markosia
Written by Benjamin Dickson
Illustrated by Gavin Mitchell
Colored by Miroslav Mrva and Owen Watts
2016, 109 Pages
Graphic Novel released on December 1st, 2016
I read a lot of comics. Some have capes. Some have zombies. I can honestly say that this is the first I've read where Santa Claus fights Adolf Hitler. You have some idea of what you're getting into with a comic called Santa Claus vs. The Nazis. Set in the midst of World War II, the Nazis take over Santa's factory and put the elves to work building weapons instead of toys. A couple of Santa's helpers escape and work with the British military to reclaim the factory and save Christmas.
What struck me about this book was how much it made sense. Writer Benjamin Dickson takes the basic mythology of Santa Claus and weaves it smoothly into World War II. There are little touches that make it work so well, like how Hitler hasn't received any toys from Santa since he was a little kid.
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Saint Nick is depicted as an incredibly powerful magical entity. He tries his best to remain neutral as his godlike abilities (which get stronger the closer we get to Christmas) drastically tip the scales. He can't interfere with the affairs of man. This puts the main story on the two helpers that escape. This move gives the comic a more human touch as they have some real emotional growth.
When Santa does cut loose though, it is nothing short of amazing. I mean, you had an idea that Kris Kringle would be fighting Nazis from the title alone, so I'm not spoiling anything in revealing that. Artist Gavin Mitchell creates an unbelievable aerial battle with bullets and bloodshed. Santa appears in shadow at first, eyes glowing white. He's never looked more fierce and menacing.
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This is a nice contrast to the elves and even the Nazis at times, which look humorous. This isn't a book that takes itself too seriously. It has fun with the idea and it shows. There are some crazy sights, such as Santa's sleigh leading an army of elves into battle or a horde of Nazi aerial warships shaped like faces descending upon London.
Santa Claus vs. The Nazis is a damn fun comic. It takes the perennial villain that will never stop being fun to hate and somehow makes them even sillier. Sure, they're a major threat and capable of some horrible things, but here they're attacked by a bunch of Santa's elves. That takes the piss out of them even more than when an unsuspecting one gets punched on the street.