Comic-book adventures for the holiday season

By MATTHEW PRICE
From Friday, Dec. 23, 2022 editions of The Oklahoman

Santa Claus isn’t the only character who gets dressed up and has holiday adventures. 

Comic-book heroes like Zorro and Batman frequently celebrate the holiday season as well. 

Comic books have long celebrated the winter holidays, with periodical issues coming out in December often focusing on holiday tales. 

As Christmas nears, the following are some new comic books celebrating or referencing the holiday season:

Zorro: Feliz Navidad 

A new story by writer Jordan Gershowitz and artist Guilherme Raffide, “The Fight Before Christmas,” highlights this special, as Zorro must fight a greedy don and his men for the return of the pueblo’s Christmas presents.  

Publisher American Mythology claims this to be the first comics Christmas special for the character, who dates back more than 100 years. Zorro first appeared in the story “The Curse of Capistrano” in the 1919 novel by American pulp writer Johnston McCulley.

Zorro came to comics in the 1940s, first from Dell Comics, which later licensed the Disney show in the 1950s. This led to comic stories by the artist Alex Toth in Dell Four Color. 

Over the years, Zorro’s comic-book adventures appeared under several banners, including Marvel, Topps, Dynamite and currently, American Mythology. 

Grifter Got Run Over by a Reindeer 

The former government operative with the distinctive red bandana mask is the titular star of this year’s DC Holiday special, which also features stories with characters including Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Animal Man.  80-page special with a roundup of both top-tier and somewhat lesser-known DC Comics heroes and villains

Mr. Freeze: One Bad Day 

In the early days of Batman’s adventures, it’s the coldest winter in Gotham City history. Batman and Robin face off during the holiday season with Mr. Freeze, a foe who is using the cold to his advantage. This one-shot is part of the “One Bad Day” series of one-shots focusing on Batman villains, and is written by Gerry Duggan with art by Matteo Scalera. 

Assorted Archie Comics

For all-ages friendly holiday fare that includes comics, puzzles and games, check out the comic-book digests “Archie Showcase Digest #11: Christmas Stocking” and “World of Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest” #21. This year’s “Archie Christmas Spectacular” #1 features the Riverdale gang in holiday-themed fare in traditional comic-book size and format.  

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewLprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

Zorro: Feliz Navidad from American Mythology.

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