In the word’s of everyone’s favorite British beard-rock band Wizard, “It’s CHRIIIISSTTTMMASSS!!” Which means that it’s the perfect time to look at some weird old comics, and say, “What the fuck were they thinking?” So stuff your stockings full of these seriously strange Christmas covers from the big two, and then remember that whatever you’re working on is valid and amazing and at least you’ve yet to make a cover showing a cowboy shooting Santa in the face in front of a smiling family to make sure he spreads Christmas cheer.
Because gun-toting Santa smoking like a chimney is what the holidays are all about! If you haven’t seen this cover before, then first off: you’re welcome. One of the strangest comics covers of all time, this Kyle Baker classic portrays the issue’s villain: a department store Santa who just happens to also be a career criminal. I love this cover most, though, because it came out in 1987 and has a weirdly shady Watchmen nod in the corner box with a smiley face peppered with bullets. Chill out, Marvel.
I feel like this cover is disrespectful to Elvira in a number of ways: 1) She’s far too hot and cool to be leered over by a creepy Santa. 2) There def should’ve been a more spooky theme all round. Christmas Baphomet perhaps? 3) It also plays into some real bullshit about women being mad greedy. Elvira was (is!) a cultural phenomenon, with licences on everything from chocolate to underwear. I’m sure she didn’t need a creepy bearded guy to buy her shit. On the other hand, Jose Louis Garcia Lopez did admittedly create something pretty iconic looking. Also, again, check out that fantastically random Watchmen shoutout in the bottom corner box. Who watches the Watchmen? Probably this creepy fucking Santa.
Of all of our creepy covers, this is probably the most disturbing, as it shows good old cursed cowboy Jonah Hex shoving a gun in Santa’s face whilst threatening to kill him if he doesn’t share some holiday cheer. Making it worse is the bottom-right implication that he’s already murdered a whole bunch of other Santas who weren’t cheery enough. DC was really on some wild shit with this one. Congrats to cover artist Luis Dominguez though for creating some seriously old school atmosphere with this creepy cover.
In all fairness, this is a purposefully creepy cover from the Golden (bronze) age of X-Men comics; it’s a Terry Austin cover exercise in pre-comics code style horror. The best thing about it is that the Christmas theme almost seems like an afterthought, the cover working just as well without the sneak peak of the Christmas tree and the hilarious “Merry Christmas” above the iconic logo. “Guess what just came down the chimney!” is a tagline for the ages.
Why is Wonder Woman robbing this small child? Why are Alan Scott and Jay Garrick helping her? This issue of Comic Cavalcade is so old we’ll probably never know, but it is some really creepy ass shit. Okay, okay, I’m kidding. Wondy, Green Lantern, and The Flash are obviously putting the presents into that child’s room, in which case I just want to know when did that become something superheroes had the time to do? Who’s buying the presents? Are they helping Santa or usurping him? How do they know what the kid wanted? A truly baffling final cover by Everett E Hibbard.