How Does Spider-Man Deal With a Gun-Toting Santa Claus?

Summary

  • Spectacular Spider-Man #112 is a notable Christmas comic story featuring an evil Santa Claus and Spider-Man almost spending the holidays alone.
  • The issue features a mall Santa who gets people’s information so that he can rob them
  • Peter accidentally cuts off people before they can invite him to spend Christmas with them, but the real Santa Claus eventually comes through and both stops the Santa Crook AND lets Peter know about an invitation from Aunt May so that Peter ends up spending Christmas with his loved ones.


It’s our yearly Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar! This year, the theme is the Greatest Christmas Comic Book Stories Ever Told! I had you all vote for your all-time favorite comic book Christmas stories and I collected all the votes, and now I am counting down the results! Each day will spotlight the next story on the list as we count down from #24 all the way to #1!

Every day until Christmas Eve, you can click on the current day’s Advent Calendar post, and it will show the Advent Calendar with the door for that given day opened, and you can see what the “treat” for that day will be! You can click here to see the previous Advent Calendar entries.

The drawing for this year’s Advent Calendar, of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Wolverine celebrating Christmas together is by Nick Perks.

And now, we open the eleventh door on the calendar…

The eleventh day of the CSBG Advent Calendar

s we continue the countdown with #14 on the list, 1985’s “You Never Make a Sound” from Spectacular Spider-Man #112 by writer Peter David, penciler Mark Beachum, inker Pat Redding, colorists Nel Yomtov and George Roussos and letterer Rick Parker, as Spider-Man deals with an evil Santa Claus while seemingly being all alone on the holidays. The stunning cover that I am using as the header for this article is by Kyle Baker.

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Have a Merry Christm…ass?!

The title of the issue is a bit confusing, because in the context of the issue itself, it is presented as the final line of a poem by the great John Morris-Jones that is printed at the start of the issue, specifically:

“On Christmas Day the snow

lay soft and thick and white;

but Santa Clause had come

to see us in the night.

‘He filled my little stocking –

I knew he’d not forget

Oh thank you, thank you, Santa

Perhaps I’ll meet you yet.

‘You always are so kind to me

when Christmas Day comes ’round,

I often wonder how you come!

You never make a sound”

Early in the issue, we get the main plot of the issue, which is that there is a mall Santa Claus who is using the kids who come to visit him to get information on their situation at home, whether they have a lot of stuff, what their address is, whether there is a lot of security at their place, etc. However, while this issue establishes that aspect of the plot, I think it also nicely establishes something else notable…

A mall Santa gets information on people so that he can rob them

Notice the prominence of the mother’s backside in the panel? The artist, Mark Beachum, is a very talented artist, but he also loooooooves drawing butts. Especially women, but Spider-Man gets in on the action, as well. Beachum clearly loves drawing attractive women, as well, and heck, when you’re dealing with a guy who wants to draw stuff like that, you might as well work it in there, like when Peter calls Mary Jane, but gets her answering machine since she is in the bath….

Mary Jane takes a bath

Hilarious. Note that while Peter thinks that no one wants him around, Mary Jane specifically assumes Peter IS coming to spend Christmas with her, her Aunt Anna, Peter and his Aunt May.

Peter’s ex-girlfriend, Felicia Hardy, also calls Peter but hangs up before he answers. She then decides to return to her Black Cat identity, something she had temporarily abandoned when she discovered that her “bad luck” powers were messing with Spider-Man. She stops some thieves, but then steals a couple of mink coats herself…and then donates them to some homeless women. And, of course, lots and lots of butt shots…

The Black Cat is back

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The real Santa Claus comes through for Spider-Man

Peter just keeps on accidentally cutting off people before they can invite him to spend Christmas with him, and he gets so depressed that puts down his costume on a chair and talks to it while he pours a glass of Coca-Cola (the original, not that terrible New Coke stuff) for the both of them…

Spider-Man talks to his suit

This is, of course, fairly ironic considering that for a period there, Peter’s black costume actually WAS a sentient being! Years ago, I featured this issue in my Great Comic Book Detectives feature, as a reader half-remembered reading this issue when they were a kid (the idea of Spider-Man drinking with his own costume).

Okay, so the Santa Crook breaks in next door to Peter and he hears the commotion and bursts in to the scene as Spider-Man. The guy gets away, though, when Peter’s other neighbors show up in various states of undress (Mark Beachum strikes again!) and get in the way of his webbing, and the crook escapes, but then he is shocked to meet someone who is not happy about seeing “Santa Claus” robbing people (he also complains about the recent Santa Claus slasher movie that had just came out (so much of this issue is steeped in a very specific moment in the 1980s, with Santa Claus on the cover evoking Sylvester Stallone, and a plot point being one of Aunt May’s boarders shooting some punks on the subway in a reference to the real life Bernie Goetz). He then vanishes.

The next day, Peter gets a photography assignment. Apparently, the crook had a change of heart (implied due to a visit with the REAL Santa Claus).

The evil Santa Claus turns over a new leaf

The reformed crook then gives Spider-Man a note, presumably from the real Santa Claus, who tells him to call his Aunt, and Peter learns that he was expected to share Christmas with May, Anna and Mary Jane…

Spider-Man is saved by Santa Claus

Very cute bit by Peter David, who is quite the clever writer.

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