This week's comics get into the holiday spirit with stories about Santa Claus, murdered politicians and biblical apocalypses. Break out the eggnog lattes, sit back and relax. These are the new comics we crave.
All of the major American publishers are putting out worthwhile books this week, but few are likely to be as enjoyable as the latest issue of Buffy The Vampire Slayer that flashes Ms. Summers back to her high school days - and into the unseen pilot for the animated spin-off of the show, with art by Eric Wight (Get a preview here). Well, there are a couple as fun, but we'll get to them later.
Superhero fans can indulge this week with the first collection of The End League, Rick Remender's operatic and apocalyptic superhero series, the first issues of Spider-Man Noir (It's Spider-Man! But in the 1920s!), X-Men: Kingbreaker (It's the X-Men! But in space!), Dark Reign: New Nation (It's the Marvel Heroes! But in the latest cynically "dark" incarnation of political drama!) and The Greatest American Hero (Believe it or not, he's walking on air!). If you're looking for actual honest-to-goodness holiday comics, then there's the DC Universe Holiday Special or the 250th issue of Hellblazer, which takes British magician John Constantine on a particularly festive series of fantasy stories by a collection of creators, including 100 Bullets and Joker writer Brian Azzarello and io9 favorite Peter Milligan.
For those looking to get a jump on next year's big movies, Dynamite has the first issue of a new Terminator series, Salvation, while IDW releases the honest-but-lengthily-titled Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Prequel: Alliance. But even Michael Bay-levels of destruction are surpassed in the downright stunning Armageddon Now: World War III, in which 1990s comic icon Rob Liefeld - The man who gave the world, uh, this - turns to the Bible to inspire his latest tale of Rapture-friendly action and men with detachable lower jaws. You know you want it.
Surprisingly given everything I've listed so far, I've still not mentioned the book of the week. That would be Showcase Presents: The Brave And The Bold - The Batman Team-Ups Volume 3, in which more than twenty of the early '70s greatest Batman stories (written by Bob Haney, a man who thought nothing about pointing out that Batman never ages and fights Satan himself on a regular basis) get collected for less than $17. Easily the most enjoyably stupid thing you'll read this week, and if you don't believe me, here's a glimpse of what awaits you if you pick it up.
In case you've not had enough of checking lists twice, then this week's shipping list may make your day. Once you've checked off what's naughty and nice, look for your local comic store and everything will be ho ho ho before you know it.