Christmas Comic Cavalcade: DC Comics Presents #67

ChristmasComicCavalcade

In our final Christmas Comic Cavalcade of 2012, let’s look at DC Comics Presents #67, published in 1983. This yuletide comic was plotted by Len Wein and E. Nelson Bridwell, illustrated by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

CFC27611-84E2-4B60-9CA5-5F2A67F53063-1972-00000158F9D8A0AA

That gorgeous cover is by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, by the way…

Before we get into the comic itself, permit me to say (and forgive me if it’s not exactly within the spirit of the holidays): FINDING THIS COMIC WAS A REAL PAIN IN THE BUTT. These days you can get individual issues of comic books off eBay very easily, but resorting to internet auctions went against my thrift-store-hunting, bargain-seeking worldview. I wanted to find a copy of this comic “in the wild,” where I wouldn’t have to pay shipping fees or worry about it being delivered in dog-eared condition.

I decided I wanted to write about this book when I first started penning these silly Christmas comic posts. I only found a copy of DC Comics Presents #67 this past October. Seriously folks… I looked in every comic store, every flea market, every comic convention… only to come up empty for the better part of THREE YEARS. Although it’s a very cute funny book, I guaranTEE there’s never been anyone who looked at DCP #67 as long or as hard as I looked for it in the last few years.

The story begins with a mind-controlled young boy holding up a Salvation Army Santa Claus. This is kind of a small problem to bring Superman in for considering his relative might, but I guess Lex Luthor wasn’t trying to take over the world in December of ’83.

DCP1

Supes flies the kid, cutely/annoying/knowingly named “Timmy Dickens” back to the Fortress of Solitude where he quickly assertains through hypnosis that the Terrible Toyman has replaced safe Christmas toys with mind-control devices all over Metropolis. As he flies Timmy back to civilization, another of the Toyman’s nefarious playthings robs Superman of his power of flight.

DCP2

Superman and Timmy crash land in the middle of the Arctic tundra, only to be rescued by… you guessed it…

DCP3

Santa Claus!

After explaining the situation, Santa and Supes gear up and go after the Toyman!

DCP4

Fighting ensues and the upper hand is The Toyman’s… until Santa and the elves bring out some reinforcements.

DCP5

…and Christmas is saved.

When I think about Superman, THIS is the character I think about. Growing up in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, I was subjected to a TON of awful comic books. Lots of grim n’ gritty, forced perspective nonsense was being published when I was coming of age. I was, however, lucky enough to be exposed to a TON of stories from the Silver and Bronze age thanks to the comic book collections of various uncles and cousins. My Superman isn’t the mullet-haired 1990’s dude or the more recently introduced military-style costumed character. I think of barrel-chested Superman, who has a giant key just sitting in front of his Fortress of Solitude. Seriously, it’s a giant key and it’s JUST SITTING THERE.

DCP6

It’s crazy, right? So too is the entire concept for this issue. The Superman being published by DC Entertainment right now would NEVER have a team-up with ol’ Saint Nick… and he certainly wouldn’t wax nostalgic for his home planet of Krypton, as seen here.

DCP7

I get why changes were made to modernize Superman. I don’t begrudge DC for making those changes but I do think something is lost when Supes isn’t allowed to be a fantastic character having over-the-top adventures. Like the giant key he uses to open his Fortress in these pages, like the idea of Santa Claus himself, Superman’s innate charm lies in his ability to inspire excitement and wonder, especially in the very young.

DCP8

That’s one of the joys of Superman… and it’s also one of the joys of Christmas itself.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Christmas Comic Cavalcade: DC Comics Presents #67”

  1. Reblogged this on DC in the 80s and commented:
    It’s December 22nd, may as well start rolling out some holiday content. Superman teams up with Santa Claus in DC Comics Presents #67 (1983).

  2. Hey! That green creature with the red armor (?) in your 8th image (the image where baby superman is sitting in a tub) looks very similar to Battle Cat from Masters of the Universe. The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line launched in 1981 (2 years prior to this issue). Coincidence or no?

    Btw, love this article series – you’re a terrific writer.

    • Christopher Pearce Says:

      Hey, thanks man! You’re absolutely right about that armor. I had a line in the first draft about the Battle Cat likeness but I took it out because it seemed neither here nor there for what I was discussing.

      Curt Swan did pencil that issue of DC Comics Presents with the first MoTU crossover. I have to imagine it was a case of Swan borrowing from himself, but I’m not sure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: