The holiday season is a time to share stories of love, sharing, and good cheer, and Christmas comics are chock-full of them. Some of the very best books are those where the villains themselves realize the spirit of Christmas, becoming good guys for at least this one very special day of the year. Here are three examples of supervillains who found themselves on Santa’s “Nice” list in their comics’ holiday specials:
Fing Fang Foom
Let’s get one thing straight: the great Fing Fang Foom does not care for humanity. It doesn’t matter to him whether or not the human race is wiped out, especially when it’s other humans doing the killing. In the Marvel Holiday Special (2006), however, he found himself helping out Wong, Doctor Strange’s assistant, against a nigh-unstoppable foe.
That is a giant Santa Claus robot under the control of the terrorist organization HYDRA. Foom, who is loathe to see any warrior face unfair odds, found it in his heart this one special Christmas to lend a helping hand. In this case, a robot-smashing hand.
While this particular story comes from What The–? #10 (1991), Marvel’s non-canon comedy book, it’s still one of the best supervillain Christmas moments ever written. In a nutshell: Santa Claus heads to Castle Doom on Christmas, but the automated defenses mistakenly identify him as an intruder. Santa’s caught in a trap and inured, leaving Doom to sub in for him.
When superheroes see Doctor Doom entering people’s homes, they suspect he’s up to no good and start a fight. Thankfully, a doe-eyed little girl forces everyone in the fracas to make sense of the situation, with the heroes now assisting Doom on his yuletide mission.
Leave it to the keeper of the universe’s embodiment of greed itself to mistake Christmas for a selfish holiday. In Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special #1 (2010), Larfleeze believes that Santa gives people everything they want in exchange for milk and cookies. When not a single item on his ridiculously long list is found under his tree, Larfleeze goes on a rampage and starts hunting down Santa.
Thankfully, Hal Jordan finds Larfleeze going nuts in the North Pole and convinces him that in order to actually feel the Christmas spirit, he needs to give away the items in his massive hoard. When all the gift-giving is done, Larfleeze reexamines what he really wants for Christmas, and it’s at the bottom of his list: his family.
Honorable Mention: SANTRON!!!
Although there’s no heart to warm inside a robot, we can’t talk about Christmas supervillains without mentioning Santron. In Marvel Holiday Special (2005), a young genius creates a robot to deliver gifts to all the good boys and girls around the world, but mistakenly incorporates the murderous Ultron’s AI into its programming. The end result is a kind, generous machine that utters one of the greatest lines in Christmas comics history:
The Avengers eventually dispatch the menace by realizing that part of its design is to replicate Santa’s love of milk and cookies, saving the day by pretty much feeding Santron into submission. The rest of the story involves holiday hijinx at Doctor Strange’s Christmas party. It’s an awesome read all in all, but Mighty Santron is the clear show-stealer.
About the Author
Marco Sumayao is a comic book fan from the Philippines, where the Christmas season lasts nearly six months. He gets to spread the good cheer about comics year-round by writing for the ForeverGeek Kickstarter Store, where people can find the very best geeky Kickstarter projects all in one convenient, easy-to-navigate site. He’s also an engaged member of the store’s community, contributing reviews on Kickstarter comics, board games, video games, and gadgets. This year, he’s hoping to find a couple of items from his wishlist underneath the Christmas tree.