Dec 20th 2012 By: Chris Sims
It's not often that I run across a piece of comic book Christmas ephemera that I've never heard of, but a conversation with my cowriter, Chad Bowers, included five magical words that blew my mind: Iron Man's Santa Claus Armor
Sadly, this didn't actually appear in a story, but it did point me in the direction of a pretty weird (and pretty awesome) bit of Yuletide cheer. Back in the '80s, the house ads for Marvel's subscription service in comics that hit shelves in December were always holiday-specific. The prices may have changed over the past few decades, but the images of caroling supervillains, Spider-Stockings hung by the fireplace, and, yes, Santa Claus armor
, are still pretty awesome. Check them out after the cut!
For Christmas 1980, things were pretty simple, althogh that is definitely a wreath I would like to hang on my door:
In 1981, readers were treated to a very emphatic Benjamin J. Grimm, who seems to be wearing a hat and coat, but no pants:
For 1982 and 1983, Marvel dropped one of the most memorable images on us, featuring a trio of villains (or at least two villains and Magneto's disembodied head) shilling for their comics as Christmas carolers. Dr Doom is just going for it
In 1984, we got this bit of magic which, come April, I intend to identify as a leaked picture from the set of Iron Man 3
. You have been warned:
In 1985, things were at their weidest, with Peter Parker taking a very inappropriate time for a sales pitch:
After pantsless Things, crooning Dooms and metal Santa hats, 1986 and 1987's ad was decidedly understated. Still a pretty cool image:
And in 1988, Wolverine didn't look quite as cheery as someone with a sack of toys probably should:
Sadly, by 1989, the ads had shifted back to just using stock art of the characters without a single Santa hat. Still, the ones we got were pretty neat -- if they cleaned up the art and got rid of those offers for Psi-Force
and Moon Knight
, they could have some pretty nice greeting cards!