It’s Christmas in May, and this week’s Oddball winner is the gift that keeps on giving: the most unlikely omega-level mutant, Santa Claus.
Practically since the dawn of the traditional comic book, there’s been Santa Claus. From standard Christmas stories to helping superheroes and being recognized as a superpowered mutant himself, Saint Nick has done it all.
While it is easy to dismiss the Santa keys as nothing more than falderal, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special could change your perspective. Last year, writer/director James Gunn teased the arrival of “one of the greatest MCU characters of all time.” Considering his knack for ridiculousness and the fact this is a holiday special, Santa Claus is the perfect fit. After all, the jolliest of Christmas mascots is a bona fide Marvel superhero.
With that in mind, it’s time to delve into those Saint Nicholas key issues that should be on your Christmas list.
The first time jolly ol’ Saint Nick was featured on a traditional comic book cover was in 1934’s Famous Funnies #5.
The story was a reprint of a Simp O’Dill comic strip, “Fanny Takes Advantage of Santa.”
Besides this being a classic Golden Age comic, there’s not much else to say. Still, having one is a major collectible for any buyer.
For a key issue so old, it’s not as expensive as you might expect. Last September, a 5.0 sold for $1,455.
A year after Santa’s first appearance in Famous Funnies #5, DC Comics brought the superpowered sleigh bells into the world of superheroes.
In this case, Santa teamed with Superman to deliver toys around the globe. This is classic Golden Age kitsch at its finest, but don’t let that take away from the value here.
Any GA Superman comic is worth having, and adding Santa’s first DC appearance ups the ante.
Like Famous Funnies #5, it’s cheaper than you may have guessed, and a 3.5 sold for less than $1k in August.
Back in 1955, the North Pole native set foot in Strange Tales #34 for Atlas Comics.
Along with Timely, these were the predecessors to what would become Marvel Comics.
Since he’s not on the cover, this is much more affordable than the two previously mentioned issues.
In April 2021, a 6.5 brought $800 at auction.
There are currently only 40 books registered on the CGC census, and none graded higher than an 8.5.
It would be so very James Gunn of James Gunn to introduce Santa Claus as an omega-level mutant in the GOTG Holiday Special.
Keep in mind that Santa was made official Marvel-616 canon in the appropriately titled Holiday Special. It didn’t stop there.
In 2008’s Marvel Holiday Spectacular, he wielded the Infinity Gauntlet after discovering his reindeer were Skrulls.
As far as the ‘91 Holiday Special, there are records for graded sales, but the raw copies mostly sell for less than $10 on eBay.
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
With Marvel Studios’ propensity for absurdist comedy, it would not be a shock to see Santa Claus become a running gag. The entire GOTG Holiday Special is a joke in itself, but the mutant Santa could get an appearance in GOTG Vol. 3. So hang your stockings and bag and board your keys because Santa Claus is coming to town.