Last year Grant Morrison and Dan Mora teamed up with BOOM Studios to tell the origin tale of Santa Claus. It was surprisingly good, and much more action packed than one would imagine. Basically a dark fantasy tale, Klaus was as much about action, adventure, and sword play as it was Yuletide gift giving. Klaus and The Witch of Winter is a follow up tale set hundreds of years in the future, or more aptly, in our era, and is just as much fun as last year's holiday themed miniseries.
Santa "Klaus," fresh from his decades long trip to the heart of the Moon, where he got involved in the Moontian's civil war (I can barely wait for Morrison to write that one down for us), gets involved in a plot where the Witch of Winter kidnaps a few kids on Christmas Eve in order to lure Klaus into a trap for her own nefarious purposes. Action, adventure, and appearances by a few other mythical characters ensue.
Only from the mind of Grant Morrison can we get a tale of Yuletime (as it's called in Klaus) adventure involving the most fit and ready for action Santa, this side of Brom's portrayal of the holiday hero. Morrison plays it surprisingly straight here though as compared to his usual independent (of the Big Two's) works. There's no evil extra dimensional archons lurking about, no trips on DMT, and no grand political thought experiments (his mention of global warming affecting the Winter Queen's domain-it's perceived as an attack on it by her-doesn't count. The science is pretty sound on this no matter what far right fake news sites-or the president elect-says). Klaus and The Witch of Winter is a solid, albeit slightly jumbled, fantasy tale that works well within the spirit of the Yuletide. Hundreds of years of Klaus' adventures and stories are glossed over and mentioned haphazardly throughout the tale, which, honestly, distracts some from the central narrative, even though they do drop tantalizingly interesting story ideas that just scream to be developed further.
It's no secret that I love comic book stories that are about or set during the Christmas Season. They sort of go hand in hand for me. Tales of ghosts, heartwarming changes of heart, and magical nutcrackers jell perfectly with tales of dark fantasy and super heroes...when done right. Klaus and The Witch of Winter is done right. The paring of Morrison with Mora is picture perfect for this unique take on the Santa Klaus mythos. Mora captures the fantastic magical setting spectacularly by grounding it in realistic looking physical landscapes populated by mundane as well as fairy tale-like beings, all of which are beautiful and believable looking. Sometimes his facial expressions border on the over exaggerated, but it's a minor quibble when taking his overall work into account. Sharp, imaginative, and wonderfully kinetic, Mora is a master.
I love Christmas. I love comic books. When the two cross paths this time of year, it's a real treat. I only wish there were more fun tales like BOOM Studios' Klaus and The Witch of Winter each Christmastime.