“When, what to my wondering
eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.”
–The Night Before Christmas, by Clement Clarke Moore
Conspicuously missing from my recent survey of Christmas covers was Santa Claus, the beloved harbinger of Christmas whose mythic stature easily outranks the relative “rookie” folklore status of the superhero. Yet, despite Santa’s towering legend, his appearances with superheroes have always felt natural, as if he lived only a few blocks away in the public’s collective imagination.
This is especially true of his appearances in simpler, less cynical times…such as the cover of Comic Cavalcade #5 (1943), where a Jabba The Hutt-sized Santa laughs it up with Green Lantern, the Flash and Wonder Woman (the permanent stars of the title). Though they couldn’t come from more disparate backgrounds, Santa and the colorfully costumed threesome just seem right together, don’t they?