Comic Book Review – Klaus (2015)

Klaus (2015)

Writer – Grant Morrison

Artist – Dan Mora

It’s Yuletime in the village of Grimsvig but there is no joy to be had this year. The men work long hours inside the mine at the behest of Baron Magnus. The children have no toys to play with because they all go to the Baron’s son, Jonas. There’s a man in a red hood that will change the town for the better. His name is Klaus and this is his tale.

This was the last comic book discussion with the TO Comic Book Club for the year and I’m really glad I got a chance to read along with them.

Grant Morrison presents the origin of Santa Claus in this seven-issue mini-series from Boom! Studios. Dan Mora helps bring this world to life with his art and use of color, as well as black and white tones throughout. There is a scene where Klaus is visited by the Spirits of the Ice and the use of color is eye-popping and psychedelic. The art would look great on a black light poster for your room.

Morrison takes the legend of Santa Claus and creates their own interpretation on the beloved figure. There are some call backs to Rankin and Bass cartoons and the Grinch sprinkled throughout the story. My favorite nod/in-joke is when the King’s Court arrives at Magnus’ castle. If you look at the men that protect the king, they look very reminiscent of the Warriors Three of Asgard from Marvel Comics: Volstagg, Hogun, and Fandral.

One of the remarks during this discussion of the story was that this “is not your daddy’s Santa Claus.” I chuckled at this because its indeed a true statement. Klaus is a story full of action and adventure with some laughs and terror to boot. It’s a Christmas story by way of Castlevania, Game of Thrones, and Assassin’s Creed rolled all into one. The battle for the spirit of Grimsvig will set Klaus and Magnus on a collision course with each other with the beautiful Dagmar caught in the middle. We learn about the connection between Klaus and Dagmar and why he went into self-imposed exile and why he has returned.

Did the world of comic books really need an origin story about Santa Claus? No, but this story is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. When I gave my first impressions on Klaus, I said to the group that if this doesn’t get you excited for Christmas, then you don’t have a beating heart inside your chest. This story was the first one that got the whole group excited to talk about it and that’s why I didn’t want to miss a chance to review it for everyone here.

Klaus was a massive success for Boom! Studios at the time of release. It spawned four spinoff series and was another hit for Grant Morrison. This was Dan Mora’s first work, which led him to more high-profile projects like Once and Future and Detective Comics. I love his art so much and it really is a sight to behold.

I give Klaus four out of five candy canes. The arrival of Klaus helps bring hope and inspiration to the townsfolk of Grimsvig. When Magnus starts to lose his iron grip on the town and its people, his machinations could end up costing him everything he loves, including his wife Dagmar and son Jonas. Will Magnus succeed in stopping Klaus once and for all or will the mad Baron end up causing more harm than good?

If you would like to read Klaus, its available at your local library, Hoopla, and ComiXology.