It\’s an Extremely Uncanny Holiday Special #1 Superman and Santa Adventures

Next let’s take a look at a Bronze-age, Pre-Crisis meeting of Superman and Santa Claus from DC Comics Presents #67 (1984). You can find this story collected in Christmas with the Super-Heroes 1988 #1.

Story- Len Wein and E. Nelson Bridwell
Art- Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson
Colors- Jerry Serpe
Letters- Ben Oda

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In this festive team up, we are introduced to Superman stopping an attempted robbery of a bell ringing Santa at the hands of a brainwashed kid.

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Editor\’s Note: Insert Christmas Story Reference Here

Superman immediately decides to take the child to his Fortress of Solitude and deprogram the child. This is Pre-crisis Superman. Things get weird all the time.

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That kid is practically named Christmas McCarol

Either way Superman decides to use his powers of hypnosis (again, Pre-Crisis Superman) to reach into the child’s subconscious to determine what the message was that brainwashed the child.

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Super Hypnosis, yet another victim of the Crisis

Superman deducing it was the Toyman begins to fly the child home but not before the child’s toy pelts Superman with a gravity beam causing him to crash to the ground. In a rather traumatic scene, the child attempts to revive Superman, fearing that they are going to die alone in the Northern Tundra. The tension is broken though when Santa’s elves rescue the two from the cold.

When Superman awakes, he finds Santa and the elves all preparing for Christmas and there is this wonderful moment were Santa laments about toys of the 80’s being all electronic and not simple like the old days. He looks over to Superman for agreement only for Superman to reminisce about his favorite toy on Krypton (Remember, Pre-Crisis) and it was anything, but simple.

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Screentime was the true downfall of Krypton

Either way, the Jolly Ol’ Elf and Last Son of Krypton begin a plan to stop Toyman’s plot to brainwash kids all over with their toys. His plot isn’t that clear in the story. He seems to just want some money or something. All we know is that Toyman has sold countless numbers of these brainwashing machines and it is up to Santa and Supes to stop him. Without his flight (zapped by the gravity beam) Superman is reliant on Santa to deliver him to the Toyman’s toy shop.

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Even Superman is tired of Santa\’s shenanigans

Superman storms the shop via the Chimney and begins to fight off Toyman’s mechanizations. This doesn’t last for long as Superman is slowly losing thanks to the Kryptonite in the machines. Santa brings in reinforcement from the shadows by deploying is own toy machines to combat the Toyman’s.

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Eventually, Superman stands victorious and sends Toyman to jail.  Superman then begins to zip around the city to replace all the corrupted toys with quality ones. As Superman begins to depart to the sleigh, he is zapped by yet another gravity beam. He awakes back in the Tundra. The child trying to wake him up. Superman is able to fly off and return the kid home only to wonder, was it all a dream?

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It was all a dream?

Only for him to find a gift from Santa, replication of the Kryptonian toy Superman loved so much as a child.

This was another great Christmas issue. Something about Superman and Santa teaming up to fight evil capitalist just warms my heart. The idea of Superman really works well with Santa as they are both embodiment of the good of the world. This issue presents a different framing device of the Toyman plot which I found to be better than Grouch and Meany’s ploys which were scattered at best. That said, I think both are wonderful. DC Presents #67 features wonderful Curt Swan art that captures the era as well as any other. Which he should since he created the DC Style guide. Each page is full of life and color that brings joy to my heart.

Both stories are what I like about a lot of holiday specials. They are a break from the main type of story you would see the main characters in. Though, crazy stories like this were par for course for Superman in the Silver and Bronze Age. It also features team ups with Santa to save Christmas which is one of the main archetypes of holiday specials. Overall, I found both stories provided me with a lot of joy, and they are fun. Sure, there are some dated elements in the Golden Age Christmas Adventure that will be off putting for most modern readers. However, their fun cannot be overlooked. I could easily see either story being adapted to an episode of a Superman cartoon given their fun absurdity.

If you are looking for good holiday comics, you could do far worse than reading these two Superman comics.

This has been Extremely Uncanny. Join me next time as we look at Batman holiday comics. The Dark Knight pairs with Christmas in an…interesting way to say the least.

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Jordan Jennings

Jordan has written for wide array of comic review sites over the years including Comicosity, Comicon, and Comic Book Revolution. He has been reviewing and discussing comics for over 10 years. In addition to comics, Jordan enjoys various types of games be it video games or trading card games.

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