Thursday, December 24, 2015
Christmas Eve with the Super-Heroes
Remember that time that Ferro Lad and I shared a Christmas story of explosions, cloning, and death? Well, in an effort to keep Ferro Lad from continuously asking if we can open the Christmas presents early, I've decided to distract him, with a story of Christmas.
As I was saying, a story of Christmas, starring our friends Superman and, God help us all, Lois Lane. In a rare, shocking twist, Lois actually isn't the worst person in the story.
As I was saying, our story comes from the pages of DC Comics' "Christmas with the Super-Heroes", published in late 1974 but cover dated early 1975:
A giant, tabloid-sized comic, it contains charming holiday moments like a man trying to strangle Batman with Christmas decorations:
and Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman's younger sister, beating up some thugs in a junkyard while dressed as Sexy Santa:
because that's what Christmas is all about. It also contains our story:
Guessed who the most awful person in the story is yet?
I'll give you a hint: it's not Lois, and it's not Santa.
Our story opens at a tiny, sad train station in Christmastown, USA:
Yes, in keeping with the tone set in the rest of the book, we start with a broken family and a shattered tradition handed down through generations. Things are also about to get worse, as Lois and Clark discover on the way to Christmastown's annual holiday festival:
Not only is Christmastown's Santa missing, but they're flooded.
Fortunately Clark Kent is, of course, Superman. Diverting Lois to cover the floods while he covers the holiday festival, Superman flies off to find the mayor of Christmastown and reassure him:
I'm as confused as the mayor. Tell us, Superman, how will the flooding make this the best Christmas ever? Is it because you're going to use your super powers to fix the floods and reverse hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage? That's why you start cutting down trees, right? To build a super-dam or something?
Superman isn't going to do anything to stop the floods. Instead, he's going to build a party barge to float over the ruined livelihoods of the citizens of Christmastown as they struggle to shore up the levees that will prevent things from getting even worse. And he's going to make toys while he does it. Because that's the best use of his many awesome super powers.
A party barge.
If only there were some way he could add to this floating ark of human misery, some final touch that would make it even more awful?
Oh, right. We can force the old guy with the missing grandson to ride on it and pretend to be Santa.
Superman is a horrible person.
Meanwhile, Lois is, shockingly enough, actually trying to help someone who isn't her or named after her:
She wants to help that poor man with amnesia that she found in the water.
Or she wants to put him to work hefting sandbags. Seriously, Lois? If Superman wasn't busy playing a fiddling Nero over the drowned homes of Christmastown you'd be the worst person in this story, for making a man with neurological trauma and a head injury perform physical labor in wet, freezing conditions.
True. It's not like Superman's doing anything to stop the flooding, and morale at the levees seems pretty bad:
Worst Christmas ever. Too bad there's no superhero around to fix things, right? Wait, what's that coming in from upstream?
Yes, that's right, it's Superman's "Let Them Eat Cake While the Insurance Companies Deny Their Flood Damage Claims" party barge, complete with sad Santa:
Lois drags her amnesiac laborer over for a closer look, in pursuit of a better story, and somehow her relentless pursuit of a Pulitzer leads to a Christmas miracle:
All that's left now is for Superman to redeem himself by taking care of the flooding, right? Look, there he goes, up into the sky:
I'm not sure how things worked on Krypton, but here on Earth dropping a blizzard on top of heavy flooding isn't really a perfect Christmas.
Great job being a horrible person, Superman.
So, there you have it. A story of family, Christmas, and natural disaster that Lois didn't cause.
Merry Christmas, from all of us.