I don’t normally do this sort of thing for a variety of reasons, but what the heck? It’s Christmas!
So in the spirit of giving, here’s one of my all-time favorite holiday specials in its entirety: The four-page saga of “The Night Prowler” from House of Mystery #119–reprinted for your enjoyment in the wonderful DC Universe Christmas trade paperback–by the team that brought you Swamp Thing, Len Wein and Berni Wrightson.
That’s a nice misdirection there. I was certain Wein/Wrightson were going to show me a dead Santa Claus at the end.
When did Cain have such a cute roommate?
That was in the TPB? I can barely remember it…or maybe I tend to focus on stuff like Wonder Woman’s story as told by a tree, Waid’s stories with Flash and Impulse (the latter co-written by Devin Grayson…whatever happened to her?), old-school Sandman and Sandy (“Santa Fronts For The Mob!”), and the Golden Age Superman story where Lois gets freed from a trap, only to be captured again three panels later. The villains in that story were beyond awesome in terms of sheer hatred towards the holiday season.
Yeah, I’m wondering about Cain’s assistant there in the first panel as well. Doesn’t look like Eve. His sister/wife making a cameo?
Appropos of nothing, I wish there were a comic equivalent of Dominic the Donkey.
Apparantly having your face encircled by a wreath of unruly hair gets you primo Christmas tail. Who knew?
Well, I’ll be a son-of-a-gun! Nobody got killed!
Y’know, in that splash, the bimbo in the Santa suit, along with the dark blue/purple background, looks like it was drawn by Howard Chaykin, and the Chritsmas tree and Cain looks like it was drawn by Wrightson. Guess someone decided to stick a couple of different drawings together!
“Wars in the Middle East– Racial strife at home– Murders– Muggings– Strikes…”
Thank God this came out way back in 1971 and all those things are behind us now!
wow. big dark lead up to a really happy ending. i love comics…
The comic doesn’t explicitly state who was knocking around downstairs, therefore I can only conclude it was a gay prowler who helped Fred discover something important about himself. The hoofbeats symbolize Fred’s new secret life.
No, it obviously was….
So the prowler killed Fred and cut off his face to wear as a mask to fool (and seduce) his wife, right? Chilling.
Doesn’t that guy feel bad that he pointed a gun at Santa? Seriously.
Yeah, Iâ€™m wondering about Cainâ€™s assistant there in the first panel as well. Doesnâ€™t look like Eve. His sister/wife making a cameo?
Maybe it’s Desire. (One wonders what Dream’s reaction to this story was.)
“Doesnâ€™t that guy feel bad that he pointed a gun at Santa? Seriously.”
No, since this was the DCU Santa he probably melted the gun with his heat-vision.
I’m annoyed by that local television station trying to boost ratings around the holidays by painting Santa as a sex crazed prowler.
I think Johnny Bacardi is right about Chaykin drawing the left half of the splash page and Wrightson the right side. I wonder what the story is behind that.
First panel brought me to think that it was going to be something around the lines of:
“Sorry kids, there really is a Santa Claus, but he’s — ACTUALLY A SKELETON!”
If I’m not mistaken, that splash page was added in a reprint version somewhere and may even be a composite clipped from other art.
This is it, i’m gonna shoot first and ask questions later… and THE VERY NEXT PANEL starts – “All right, buddy, freeze!”
Technically not a question, but also technically NOT A SHOTGUN BLAST. This guy’s obviously had too much eggnog.
PS – why is the werewolf the only one with an actual Christmas tree? This couple supposedly has KIDS; they don’t have a tree? They’re not wrapping presents? I’m surprised Santa didn’t shoot HIM.
I do love a heartwarming Christmas tale as much as the next guy, but this story really needed to end with Santa’s head hanging in the guy’s trophy room.
There, I said it.
There is something incredibly OMINOUS about that last panel. Both in his expression, and the fact that he spoke in an Old English font. Chilling.
“PS – why is the werewolf the only one with an actual Christmas tree? This couple supposedly has KIDS; they donâ€™t have a tree? Theyâ€™re not wrapping presents? Iâ€™m surprised Santa didnâ€™t shoot HIM.”
Two things: That’s Cain, from the Bible, and he’s not a werewolf(we don’t know where Hot-Santa-Chick appears in the Bible).
Also, yeah, this couple has multiple kids and their first reaction to hearing someone poking around downstairs on Christmas Eve is to start blasting away with a shotgun? This should have been a much more horrible Christmas.