This week, Marvel Studios unveiled its most terrifying, scariest, and creepiest trailer yet: a teaser for the Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special which was released a few days before Halloween.
It seems like the eternal slide into an ever-earlier Christmas and holiday season is happening even in the Marvel Universe. And oddly enough, in Marvel Comics, there might be a reason for that.
Because in the Marvel Universe – the core, mainstream, Marvel Earth-616 Universe – Santa Claus is a real person, and what’s more, he’s one of the most powerful mutants ever identified.
You know… mutant, like in the X-Men.
As you can imagine, with over 60 years of stories under its belt, Marvel Comics has featured Santa Claus in more than a few holiday tales over the years – it’s hard to name one piece of ongoing fiction that didn’t at least use Santa symbolism at one point.
Over those six decades, Marvel’s Santa has teamed up with everyone from Invaders to fight Adolf Hitler…(we’ll give you a sec on that one)…to Deadpool, Howard the Duck, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, and more.
But as you can also imagine, Santa appears a little differently in a world of cosmic reality-altering beings and all-powerful superheroes, and as such there have been a few different supernatural origins. retold for Marvel’s Santa Claus – including a connection to Odin, or a magical being brought into existence by the power of goodwill.
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But the years 1991 Marvel Holiday Special (opens in a new tab) The one-shot comic offered another explanation, it’s the one we’re going with here not only because it’s, well, pretty fun, but also because it’s been referenced many times since.
In the one-shot Holiday Special, Professor X’s mutant-locating device Cerebro detects, on that date, the “most powerful” mutant the machine has ever detected, i.e. at least one mutant Omega level. At the same time, Professor X and the X-Men learn that the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has also discovered the extremely powerful new mutant signal – only for the two teams to arrive and realize they’ve come across the real Santa, and he is a mutant.
The story ends with a charming resolution and, of course, Santa Claus wins everyone over with the power of kindness and a bit of Christmas snow.
But the end result is that Santa Claus is now officially a mutant in the Marvel Universe, whose powers are seemingly almost incalculable and allow him to perform every feat of Christmas magic he’s known for.
Will the MCU adopt a mutant Santa Claus as an ongoing concept from the Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special? Probably not.
But for now, we’ll take comfort in thinking that the continued Christmas push to overtake Halloween in the retail aisles and media earlier and earlier might just be a manifestation of Santa’s mutant power.
Santa Claus might not be appearing in Krakoa anytime soon, but there’s a whole bag of new X-Men comics on the way to 2022 and beyond.