The Best Comics in December Part 1: Krampus Is Coming

Categories: Comics

Each month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best book to review. Look for Part 2 tomorrow.

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Krampus #1: It seems like a weird time to start a Christmas series with Christmas being, you know, just now over, but there's no denying that Brian Joines has come up with a pretty damn fun book no matter the holiday season. In this world, Christmas is maintained not just by Santa Claus, but by a coalition of cultural takes on the character called The Secret Society of Santa Clauses. The Saints Nicholas find themselves in terrible danger of losing their magical abilities when a legion of sugar plum fairies under the employ of unknown forces steal the relics of the original Greek Saint.

In order to recover the bones, the Society releases the Krampus from his imprisonment... where he apparently spends most of his time watching Downton Abbey. The devilish spirit that punished the naughty back in antiquity has been under lock and key since the '50s, but agrees to solve the mystery in exchange for his freedom.

The whole thing is incredibly, some might even call it derivatively, Hellboy, but it's raucously fun for all that. With all the alternative fairy tale stuff that has become so popular over the last decade people still seem a little reluctant to tackle the mythology of Santa on the same scale. Joines does so with both scholarship and an eye for great storytelling.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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Forever Evil: Justice League #26: Reading Marvel and DC lately is a lot like watching wrestling back in the '90s. The two keep spending all their energy on giant storylines involving dozens or hundreds of characters in an attempt to craft what is essentially comic book pay per views. DC's latest of these Forever Evil, where the evil alternative universe Justice league now rules the Earth.

It's been an interesting plot line, one that even allowed some rather nice looks at the villains of the DC universe, but it's been a study in very lopsided storytelling. Truth be told, with few exceptions Marvel does villain story lines better right now.

Still, I do love a good alternative universe origin story, and this Geoff Johns gives some great ones for Power Ring (Evil Green Lantern), Johnny Quick (Evil Flash), and a new female Atom. Power Ring is especially brilliant, as his ring gains recharging by psychologically torturing the weak-willed and cowardly Jordan, and Quick and Atomica start off their lives as vicious Mickey and Mallory Knox-esque spree killers and thieves. It's probably the best of the Forever Evil villain focuses so far, and definitely worth picking up.

Rating: 7 of 10

Piece continues on next page.

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8th Dimension Comics and Games

8475 Highway 6 N, Houston, TX

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