Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Dan Mora
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Over the course of seven issues, Klaus has become one of my favourite things Grant Morrison has ever done. If you boiled down every Morrison-esque trope unique to his superhero writing, condensed it into a seven issue series then slapped on Santa Clause as your main character you’d get Klaus, and it’s even more amazing than you could possibly imagine. The final issue sticks the landing spectacularly, cementing this as one of Morrison’s best books.
The issue showcases the final confrontational between Klaus and the evil spirit that threatens Yueltide. It’s an absolutely bonkers superhero showdown that seems thoroughly aware of how simultaneously ludicrous and badass it is. Never did I expect to see a buff santa ride into battle with a pack of angry wolves, or decapitate a demon and laughing about it, but now that I have my life can never go back to the way it was before. It’s a real pulse pounding issue that needs to be seen to be believed.
I truly hope this series turns Dan Mora into an A-list artist, his work throughout has been absolutely spectacular, beautifully touching and incredibly atmospheric. Here though in the last hurrah, he mostly forgoes his usual subtly and instead thinks “what if I made holiday themed metal albums and arranged them into a comic?” and the result is every bit as glorious as you want it to be. Honestly, a series with such a bizarre premise could’ve easily been phoned in and sold itself on the premise alone, but Mora and Morrison give 110% to ensure that this is a comic worth buying. Even more incredibly, thanks to Mora’s art and designs I’m going to have the best, visually striking Christmas cards ever this year.
Underneath all this however is Morrison’s traditional characterisation and beautiful optimism that made me a fan of his work. He initially described the series as “All-Star Santa” and I really get the sense that’s what he achieved. Klaus shows on so many occasions how good hearted he is to the point of being so overwhelmingly touching. His defiant cry of “there are no such thing as bad children!!” sounds ridiculous on paper, but in the story showcase how both brutally badass but tenderly soft he is. It’s this delicate balance that, for me, make Klaus such a triumph. Despite feeling like “Morrison’s greatest hits starring Santa”, it never feels cliche or as if Morrison is on autopilot. Instead he brings all the brilliance of his usual stories to one we’ve all heard before, and makes it new and wonderful again. The ending is so touchingly bittersweet I almost had to turn the pages back to check that Santa had indeed been swinging a sword around a few pages ago. It’s a complete package and shows Morrison’s ability to make things feels whimsical and mystic.
Klaus made me feel like a kid again in all the best ways. It’s Morrison at his best, alongside a sure to be A-star artist Dan Mora delivering pure brilliance in comic book form. Everything I love in Morrison comics is present here, in fact everything I love in comics is here; inspiring heroes, despicable villains, huge scale battles and an ending that makes you feel sad that it’s over, but deep down you know the story never really ends. I have a feeling Klaus will be a new holiday favorite, and I encourage you all to read it and experience the story over and over.