Infinite Christmas Part Two: The 12 Days of Vengeance

December 20th, 2005 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Superman #163: What Do You Get the JLA for Christmas?

This very special issue of Superman comes from 2001, after Lex Luthor was elected President. In it, Superman goes around meeting with various JLA members to complain about the Luthor situation before giving them a crappy Christmas gift. Then he goes and fucks Lois in the city of Kandor while ripping off Plastic Man’s jokes.

The list of presents are as follows:

For Plastic Man: rubber bands
For Martian Manhunter: a box of Ore— er Chocos Cookies
For Aquaman: a Metropolis snow globe
For Green Lantern (the one without pubes): jewelry polish
For Flash: tube socks
For Wonder Woman: a tiny replica of Mjolnir, no doubt to remind her of the most unimportant subplot in Marvel vs. DC
For Batman: a magnifying glass
For Booster Gold and The Question: supporting character roles on the greatest cartoon on TV

A gimmick of the issue was that each segment was drawn by a different artist. That included the absolute horror of Rob Liefeld drawing Aquaman.

Ah well. At least everything isn’t overly glossy.

Yuletide Rating: 1 out of 4. I’ve seen Hanukah presents that have sucked less than what Superman musters up. Visor Superman probably would’ve gotten them each something awesome, like gift certificates to Red Lobster. That’s why Guy Gardner loved him so much.

Iron Man #254: Ho-Ho-Homicide!

There are many regrets about my 101 Rocking Comic Covers countdown and this is a big one. Holy crap, is that one awesome piece of work. If you saw that in front of you, you’d have no option but to buy that thing immediately. It doesn’t matter what the inside is like because that cover is going to be torn off, laminated, framed and put on the wall, next to your signed photo of French Stewart.

Also, please take note of what month this comic came out in.

The story is not so great. Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes have created a “winter dome” in California so that orphans can experience snow. I’m sure that’s pretty low on an orphan’s wishlist, but Tony Stark is far smarter than a nimrod like me, so I’ll just nod my head like a dumbass and continue with the story.

The Taskmaster, a man who could steal Christmas because he watched the Grinch do it, holds an exam where some of his students fight it out. One of the students easily disposes of his peers and is promoted to being called the Spymaster. Spymaster’s final exam is to go into the winter dome and steal the angel on top of Tony Stark’s tree.

Spymaster dresses as Santa and is hounded by children. All of the sudden, one of them notices that Santa’s packing. Good going, jackass. Sure, you might beat up or maybe kill Iron Man and get your stupid angel, but what kind of “master spy” gets found out by an 8-year-old by the fourth panel? He removes his Santa costume and goes into hostage-negotiation mode.

Two pages. He was Santa for two goddamn pages. Ripoff.

Oh, here comes Iron Man. Coming to fight Spymaster, after he had removed the Santa costume. It isn’t a total loss, as the Spymaster takes out his totally rad power-chucks (Dear actual Santa: take note) and smacks Iron Man around with them. With children in the nearby area, Iron Man tries to reason with the villain. Then we experience the action-packed Christmas climax that only Marvel can give us!

“Hey, can I have that angel on top the tree?”

“Uh… okay.”



“Huh. Well, all right then.”


“Take care.”

Yuletide Rating: one half out of 4. Power-chucks are worth at least that half a point, but the disappointment that comes from the cover pulls down the rest of the issue. Though there is one panel I rather enjoyed…

Now that is what Christmas is all about!

Incredible Hulk #378: Rhino Plastered

Similar concept; far better execution. The cover to this issue also shows the hero of the story taking on Santa Claus, but this time it doesn’t fail to deliver. In the story, Rick Jones tells some kids in a hospital about how teasing can cause bad things to happen. He tells a story about the time Hulk was in his gray period, where he was more irritable than outright pissed.

But the main character of the story is the Rhino, who can’t go five feet without someone running away screaming at him for being a supervillain. Rhino can’t get a break until he steals a sidewalk Santa’s outfit and disguises himself. Finally he begins to get a little respect. In fact, a mall owner allows him to work at his mall and let the little kids sit on his lap. Coincidentally, Bruce Banner, Rick Jones and some SHIELD guy named Clay are in the area.

It doesn’t take too long for Rhino to get aggravated at the little, demanding bastards he has to deal with. Bruce runs off, transforms into the Hulk and arrives just in time. It seems Rhino has finally blown his top.

Hulk, referring to himself as the “Ghost of Beatings Yet to Come”, immediately trades blows with the equally gray Rhino. The fight is pretty funny, including bits where they discuss Rhino’s inability to be with a woman due to his costume and an interlude where a woman treats them to cookies with macadamia nuts. Classic Peter David. After running through Hulk’s chest with his horn, Rhino boasts about how he’s going to finish him off.

But he doesn’t go through with it. The two of them are interrupted by a crying little girl. Her mother told her that Rhino was the real Santa Claus, but now she thinks her mother was lying. Rhino, having enough of a heart not to be a dick to this sweet little kid, stops his fight and calms down.

Love that grin.

Rhino finishes his job as mall Santa with Hulk as his helper. Neither of them seem to be quite thrilled, up until a hot Mrs. Claus gives Hulk some notice. As the flashback ends, Rick Jones is immediately kicked in the shin for being a no-good liar. God bless us, everyone!

Yuletide Rating: 3 and a half out of 4. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this comic, but I can’t give it the full four stars. The art is a bit shoddy (see Rhino above) and Gray Hulk just isn’t as fun as that green guy that smashes stuff and knows less than a dozen words.

The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special

Hey, remember that comic where Lobo was hired to kill somebody? And he acted like an ass, said “frag”, “bastich” and “Feetal’s gizz” a bunch of times, then killed a bunch of people in really gory ways while being completely invincible? It’s just like that comic, except with Santa and the Easter Bunny.

It did make for a good fan-movie if you can get your hands on it. It stars the guy who played Zangief from the Street Fighter movie! No word on whether or not he got paid.

Yuletide Rating: 1 out of 4. If you’ve read one Lobo comic, you’ve read them all. No hard feelings, Mr. Giffen. Hey, I did like that one Lobo arc in JLI where he fought Guy Gardner and beat up G’nort! That was pretty funny!

…wait a minute! You’re not Keith Giffen!

Join me next time where stuff happens.

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3 comments to “Infinite Christmas Part Two: The 12 Days of Vengeance”

  1. I thought that Superman 163 thing was a joke. :O

  2. The Wonder Woman thing was a reminder of a story from earlier that year, wherein they both got trapped in Not-Asgard, and had to stay there for what was claimed to be several thousand years. Not-Thor died, Supes took his hammer, and angst about not being with Lois while WW was trying to get into his pants through out said thousand years. Bare in mind, the thousand years equaled to about 5 minutes in “real time”, so, yeah.

  3. That scan of Rhino and Hulk being “nice” cracks me up every time.