The Last Christmas #1 Review
The Last Christmas has excellent artwork by Rick Remender and Hilary Barta, who combine to give the perfect blend of "jolly" artwork with more than a touch of creepiness (which is what this story calls for). Michelle Madsen's colors are beautiful, and aid the artwork a great deal.
Sadly, writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn (who is an excellent stand-up comedian and former writer for the excellent Mr. Show with Bob & David) do not give the readers much to work with in this first issue.
First off, while it's certainly not a big deal, it IS kinda silly to release this in May. But whatever, a good story is a good story, no matter the month. I think this would have been a lot more successful commercially if it was released in October. Oh well.
Now, as for the story? It's not a bad premise. The world powers got into a nuclear war, and the world is now in a post armaggeddon scenario, with evil mutants (mutated by the radiation) traveling the world killing people. Well, the mutants make their way to the North Pole, where they murder Mrs. Claus and almost kill Santa. You can't kill Santa, though, because he's magic. However, once Mrs. Claus is gone, Santa tries to kill himself, because he doesn't want to live without her. He tries killing himself in many different amusing ways. None of them work. Ultimately, he decides to get revenge upon the mutants.
That last part doesn't happen in the comic?
Oh, I'm sorry, that's right - he DOESN'T get to that point in this comic. The comic ends in the middle of his fourth suicide attempt. It's absurd. How you don't actually get to the POINT of the a five-issue mini-series by the end of the first issue is truly beyond me.
In fact, the text piece even refers to it as the first "expositioney chapter." I admire the fact that even Duggan realizes that they dropped the ball, but that doesn't make the ball any less dropped.
This is a fun premise. There are some funny jokes. There is great art (and a great Geoff Darrow cover), but until they actual BEGIN the story, I would not recommend this comic.