Santa Claus is one of the most famous and beloved icons of childhood folklore, whose name and visage has become symbolic with the holiday known as Christmas. In the old tradition, Santa Claus was thought of as a portly man, with a white beard who lived at the North Pole and managed a colony of elves who manufactured toys all throughout the year. On December 24th of each year, he would ride off in a sleigh driven by eight reindeer to distribute gifts to children around the world. He maintained a census of which children were naughty and which children were nice, doling out his gifts accordingly. This is the story that most children are raised to believe, but the true story of Santa Claus is steeped in mystery and conjecture.
By the account of magus John Constantine, the historical Santa Claus was actually Agios Nikolaus (St. Nicholas), born in Patara, Lycia (Turkey) in 270 CE. As an adult, Nikolaus was appointed the Bishop of Myra, where he developed a reputation for performing miracles, such as resurrecting the dead. He was also known for his benevolence, charity, and anonymous gifts to the poor. Nikolaus passed away in 343 CE, when he ascended to sainthood. His remains were entombed in Myra until the 11th century when the Saracens invaded Turkey. The faithful disinterred Nikolaus’ remains and shipped them to the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy where they remained undisturbed for centuries. In 2008, John Constantine located the skeleton of the holy Nikolaus and arranged to have the remains shipped back to England for use in an occult ritual. In order to get the remains through customs, Constantine had them ground into powder and convinced the customs agent that it was gardening fertilizer. He used some of the powder for his ritual, then snorted the rest as if it were cocaine, musing about how it was going to be a "White Christmas". Whether the skeleton that Constantine acquired really belonged to the actual Saint Nikolaus, or whether this individual was in fact Santa Claus is a matter of interpretation.
Even if the original, corporeal body of Santa Claus no longer existed, the essence of Santa Claus proved to be truly immortal.
One year, a group of disgruntled thugs known as the Seal Men decided to kidnap Santa Claus out of revenge for giving them "inappropriate" gifts. The Sandman (Garrett Sanford) and his friend Jed liberated Santa from the Seal Men and cleared up what was otherwise just an embarrassing misunderstanding. The Sandman and Jed then helped Santa to deliver presents to all of the children of the world that year.
One rather biased account of Santa Claus however, did not paint him as a jolly old gift-giver, but rather as a merciless slave-owner. Known as Kris "Crusher" Kringle, this concept of Santa Claus was a brutal dictator who ran an empire out of his stronghold at the North Pole. He maintained an army of elves, and through a practice of planned malnutrition, was able to keep them short in stature and "fierce as ferrets". Several years ago, one of Crusher Kringle's primary rivals, the Easter Bunny, hired the intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo to assassinate Santa Claus. Accepting the Bunny’s payment, Lobo was only too happy to see the job through. He traveled to the North Pole and blazed a bloody trail of destruction as he massacred dozens of elves just to reach Kringle's throne room. Santa proved to be more than just a fat old man though. The two faced each other in mortal combat, and Santa came at Lobo with two sharpened shivs. Lobo would not be defeated, and defeated his adversary by decapitating him. After that, he went outside and shot Rudolph. While this account seems incredible at best, Lobo has maintained that it did in fact take place.
Even if some of Lobo's account was valid, Santa Claus still continues to exist in the hearts and minds of children across the globe. Although he seldom interacts with members of the super-hero community, there are those such as Superman and Impulse who can attest to Santa Claus’ existence.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Charisma: With the exception of notable individuals such as Lobo and the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus has the ability to engender trust and inspire hope in others.
- Immortality: Santa Claus appears to be virtually immortal, having not aged beyond his traditional image for several centuries.
- Magic: Santa is stated to have magical powers, though the exact nature of this is unknown.
- Toy Bag: Santa's toy bag is said to be able to carry enough toys for all the good little girls and boys.
- Santa's Sleigh: a decorated sleigh drawn by eight to nine reindeer. The sleigh and reindeer are able to defy gravity and traverse continents, allowing Santa Claus to distribute the toys to the young children.
- Coal Lumps: The precise nature of these lumps of coal is uncertain, but it generally has a emotional effect (damaging confidence, pride and motivation) on those that receive it.
- Shivs: During Lobo's misadventure with "Crusher" Kringle, he wielded two sharpened shivs against the Czarnian bounty hunter.
- Due the mythic nature of Santa Claus and his one-time association with Garrett Sanford, it is not unreasonable to assume that Santa has a strong presence in the Dreaming.
- This character is an adaptation of Santa Claus, a character in traditional stories. These include, but may not be limited to religious texts, myth, and/or folk lore. More information on the original can be found at Wikipedia.org.
- Once had a giant gorilla named Kong as a roommate.
- Despite constantly advancing Apokoliptian defenses and weaponry, Santa Claus manages to personally give Darkseid a lump of coal every year.
- 37 Appearances of Santa Claus
- Images featuring Santa Claus
- Quotations by or about Santa Claus
- Character Gallery: Santa Claus