Writers: Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn
Artists: Rick Remender (p), Hilary Barta (i)
Publisher: Image Comics
Frosty the Snowman carrying a board with nails in it while riding Santa’s sleigh which is outfitted like a Black Hawk helicopter with heavily armed elves running the lyrics of “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” through his mind repeatedly on his way to battle zombies. Despite the clichés, The Last Christmas is a must read. If you read only one comic this year..., if you never before or never will again read a comic… if you can read… if your eyes can process images…, make it Last Christmas.
The cover, which depicts Santa dropping from the sky while firing semi-automatic hand guns into a crowd of zombies, does not give much of a clue of what’s inside. This issue has a drunken Santa who almost burns down a building, ornament grenades, an elf not able to be trusted with said grenades, Gatlin guns, repelling elves, battle axes, a zombie-marauder army working with a human double agent, a woman with grotesquely exaggerated features, ass-less biker shorts, lethal fruit cakes, and quite a bit more in the first half of this issue alone.
Duggan and Posehn have created a mix of pop culture that has no parallel, and Remender’s pencils match it up. It spoofs old Christmas cartoons, so the elves fit that style. Santa is not much different from Mel Gibson’s character in the first Lethal Weapon, and in most scenes fits the mold. It has Hollywood action, so the double agent and exaggerated woman have a rockabilly look to each. Obviously, it has the zombie horror edge, so the zombies are made deformed and would fit in most zombie comics, but since it’s meant to be mostly funny, the lead zombie has a children’s cartoon look. This issue has a dramatic war movie feel to it as well, which is kind of hard to fit in the art that reflects it, but subtle parts like the weaponry and a cigarette hanging from the mini-gunner elf’s mouth add to that aesthetic as well.
If Posehn and Duggan write this well consistently, then I would rank them higher than Mark Millar or Greg Rucka. Aside from it being funny, there are scenes in here that are better than much of what published by the "Big Two." For instance, the opening lines of this issue read, “Go to sleep. Just finish this bottle and put my head down. In the morning it could be all over. I couldn’t hurt the kid,” which would be powerful if they weren’t coming from the head of Santa Claus. Then they also have cheesy lines like when Frosty wants to join the attack force and Santa says, “This isn’t your fight, Gary…but I won’t stop you from coming along.” Then many hilarious lines like, “Are these what I think they are?” “Yes, if you think they’re ornament grenades.” Part of good writing is picking the right scenes, which is done well in this comic.
Honestly, this is one of the best comics out there. Better than the tie-ins for Civil War and Infinite Crisis, and right up there with those mini-series as well. There is only one more book of this five-issue limited series left to be published, so I’m hoping that this team has more ideas in the works (a Frosty spin-off is mentioned in this issue).
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