Part of me feels this series would have been more successful as a weekly book that shipped in December. I’m kind of strange in that I can enjoy Christmas all year long and I’m not even remotely bothered by venturing back to that feeling with this issue. Most people though are probably sick of winter… Christmas… and don’t want to be reminded of their credit card bill. I guess this series is more for people like me then. The last issue was a great introduction to the Secret Society of Santas which was made up of the different versions of Santa that different countries and cultures have. It also introduced Krampus to some people that had never heard of him before. But what do the two have to do with each other? Well in the first issue someone stole St. Nicholas’ remains which drained the power of the different Santas leaving them no choice but to free Krampus to save them.
This issue picks up with Krampus looking in Belsnickel’s storage unit at a conspiracy he discovered, but before he can do anything he’s attacked by a Nutcracker… okay he’s actually attacked by The Nutcracker who is apparently a soldier of fortune. Krampus realizes that he’s not as fit and battle strong as he once was and makes a shifty retreat. He phones the Santas and they go over the little evidence they have and Krampus heads to the Himalayas.
This issue is okay. It’s entertaining which I think is all it’s really trying to be. The issue is really made up of a bunch of smaller plot points that while necessary to the overall story, don’t exactly fit together perfectly. The Santas get annoying really quickly which I’m sure is the point, but it’s a bit too much. Also having Krampus’ hands tied by the Naughty Bomb makes every battle he’s in pointless. The dialogue is still fun and Krampus in general is entertaining and steals the show.
I wasn’t crazy about the ending. I hope it’s explained better because it was a mixing of two words that I don’t understand. If it’s something that needs to be explained in the next issue then that’s fine, but if it is what it currently is… then it might have just tanked this series.
A huge success for this issue and series is the artwork. Dean Kotz’s style is a great fit for the story. He captures that wintery Christmas feel, but then at the same there’s a fantasy look to it. Sure, Christmas is fantasy based, but it’s never been represented in the way Kotz has done it. There’s a little bit of action in this issue, but for the most part Kotz illustrates conversations and makes them interesting to read.
I wish there was a bit more to say about this issue. I don’t know if I really need to review each issue, but I’ll definitely read it until the end. I just don’t see a lot happening that will bring about something new to say each time. Of course the cliffhanger could change that, but again I’m not a fan of what happened so the change could be worse. If you really liked the first issue then check this issue out, but if you were kind of on the fence with it then you’ll come to a decision with this issue for sure.
Writer: Brian Joines Artist: Dean Kotz Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/22/14