INDEPENDENT COMIC-BOOKS

ROB LIEFELD’S SANTA THE BARBARIAN

Okay, it’s a little late for Christmas, but someone mentioned this on Facebook recently, and I knew I had a copy of this somewhere, and so I dug it out to give a rereading after all these years. Santa The Barbarian began as the above trading card, published in a copy of Wizard magazine back in 1993. The 90’s were an…odd…time for the comic-book industry. Still, as a funny little character on a free card, it’s harmless little gag. But then three years later Liefeld, in his infinite wisdom, somehow got the idea that this character deserved being published in actual comic-book (I told you the 90’s were odd).

I shouldn’t mock this too hard. I mean, after all, I bought it, so what does that say about me (that’s rhetorical question, don’t answer it)?

This issue (which was published under Liefeld’s Maxim Press imprint, although I think he was still a partner in Image Comics at the time) has two separate stories drawn by different artists, each of whom are also credited as plotters on their stories, and Robert Loren Fleming is credited as the scripter for both. Drag Fraga is the first artist, on a 9-page story called THE BIG RED SLAY. We’re at Santa’s lair at The North Pole, the big guy is ready to head out. He asks his elves to give him the “Nice” list, but they tell him it’s extremely small. The “Naughty” list is much longer. This pisses Santa off (you’d think he’d be happy, since he could take it easy, due to having less presents to deliver that year), and he decides to strap on an arsenal of weapons, mostly a bunch of knives and swords, and a huge battle axe which he calls “St. Nick.” He goes to his sleigh, but only Rudolph is there, he says the others are sick from eating bad chilli. Despite having indigestion himself, he takes Santa into the air, powered by his own farts. We see Santa arrive in house, which appears to be populated by a bunch of adult men, break in the door, and just start stabbing everyone to death. And while this part is going on, the caption boxes are narrating the action with a parody of the Twas The Night Before Christmas poem. With such rhymes as:

“Twas the night before Christmas, and it was Santa’s intention, to kill every last soul, even those with a pension!”

And “He came to my house, which was really bad luck, ’cause Santa can hit you, like a freakin’ mack truck!”

Pop Mhan draws part 2: THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” An 8-page story, also narrated by a parody of the same poem. Except this time the story is that the Elves had rebelled against Santa, and are on strike.

“Well have no more, This Christmas, of your labor and demands. We have all agreed, to bring down The MAN!”

Right, so, Santa starts slaughtering the elves. One of them activated a big robot to fight Santa, but that doesn’t stop him.

THE END.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s only 16 pages of story (& I used the word “story” loosely). Aren’t most comics 22 pages long? Yes, and the rest of this comic is filled with pages of ads for other Liefeld produced comics. All of that for $2.99.

Chacebook rating: Does it matter?

Some copies are available on Amazon. Get ’em while supplies last!

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