“A Christmas for Carol!”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Gene Colan & Dave Simmons

Its Christmas and Bev and Howard’s friends are gathering for the holidays. Howard is a bit homesick for this own world. A young eleven year old girl who is the daughter of the mechanic at the cab company Howard works at is also depressed. Christmas is a bad time for her. Carole’s parent separated on Christmas day so this holiday is not her favorite. Just than Santa’s sleigh comes crashing down in front of them. It seems that Santa ran out of gas. The ASPCA does not allow him to use reindeer so they are only for show. Howard, Carole, Santa and an elf Sunquist push the sleigh to the cab company Howard works at an fills her up. Santa offers to take the two to his workshop where he will compensate Howard for the gas. Howard decides this is what Carole needs to get her into the spirit of Christmas.

When they get to the North Pole they find all the toys that are alive and Mrs. Claus hanging around outside. The Pinball Lizard has taken over. With his trolls he plans to make crappy toys that are mass produced and further commercialize Christmas. Howard leads Santa’s toys to retake the shop but the Pinball Lizard escapes to the nuclear plant. Santa put in a nuclear plant because he thought is was the future. Now there is the danger of the Antarctic Syndrome. A meltdown that would go the Antarctica and punch a hole in the Earth. Thus causing it to deflate like a balloon.

When they arrive at the plant it is controlled by Pinball Lizard’s boss Greedy Killerwatt. Greedy Killerwatt was a man who worked at Three Mile Island and exposure to radiation mutated him into an anthropomorphic lightbulb. He has mutated the endangered species of polar bears, seals and penguins who guard the plant. Luckily Howard and the gang with help from Eskimos defeat Greedy Killerwatt. Howard and Carole return with Carole now finding the spirit of Christmas.

“Duck Soup”
By Bill Mantlo

An article on Howard the Duck’s story from the defunct color comic. For someone like me who never read the color comics this was quite informative about his origin and the villains Howard has fought.

Nothing like a good Christmas story in September to put you in the mood for the holidays. Obviously this was a rant against nuclear power which was a big issue at the time. So every tree hugger will be glad to know that Santa will abandon nuclear and gas for solar and renewable energy. This was just such a weird story that I loved it. Hopefully Santa learned his lesson and won’t hire any lizards to supervise his shop.

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