In November, Grant Morrison's delivers his own dark take on Santa Claus with the miniseries Klaus. Illustrated by Dan Mora and published by BOOM!, Klaus is a reinvention of the Christmas myth with a full-fledged origin story, adding some proverbial teeth to the fairy tale character.
A full-page essay by Morrison about Klaus ran in this week's Previews catalog, which Newsarama reprints courtesy of BOOM! Studios.
When we talk about superheroes, there’s one prominent, universally recognized character who tends to get left off the list but consider this:
He defies the laws of physics by travelling around the world at impossible speeds. He has his own personal flying car, his own helpers, his own secret Arctic hideout and a clearly defined mission. He’s an immortal who loves humanity—especially kids—so much he personally delivers tailor-made gifts to millions of people each year. He even wears a distinctive red-and-white uniform.
Everyone knows his name and it might even be true to say that he’s more popular than Batman or Spider-Man, yet he doesn’t have his own comic book series, or film franchise.
Who is this unsung costumed paragon of incredible power and infinite generosity?
I’m talking about Santa Claus, of course.
Most of us wouldn’t think of Santa Claus as a superhero—he’s a folk tale, a personification of a holiday, a corporate mascot even—but that’s exactly what I set out to do in Klaus. Looking at Santa Claus from the skewed perspective of a “cape fiction” writer led me to wonder why we know so little about a character we’ve all known so well all our lives. Superman comes from a distant planet, Iron Man is a genius inventor, but Santa Claus is a blank slate. There’s no definitive “origin” story, no recurring supporting cast, no evil nemesis, and no secret identity.
In Klaus, the brilliant artist Dan Mora and I are combining the tropes of superhero stories with epic fantasy to create our new take on the secret history of Santa Claus. We plan to explore the early years of the man known as Father Christmas: Who is Santa Claus really? What was he like when he was young? How did he get his start? Why does he do what he does? How does he do it? What’s the deal with the chimneys?
And where does he get all those wonderful toys?
Klaus is the story of our hero’s greatest challenge and how he overcame it. This is the tale of one man and his wolf against a totalitarian state and the ancient evil that sustains it. Part action thriller, part sword-and-sorcery, part romance, part science fiction, Klaus has given us free rein to revamp, reinvent and re-imagine a classic superhero for the 21st century. He’s making a list and he’s checking it twice. This Christmas it’s all about psychedelic shamanism, anti-authoritarian guerrilla gift-giving, and the jingle bells of freedom!
And you’ll finally discover the answer to the burning question: What does Santa Claus do on the other 364 days a year?