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Review: Klaus #3

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Klaus continues to develop into an exceedingly interesting and nuanced world. More than the conflict itself, the imaginative interpretation of folklore is fascinating.

If the story of a winter ghost visiting children one by one every year was somehow not engaging enough for you, Grant Morrison has a new Santa story that may catch your interest. Here Santa is a wild man trying to save the sorrowful town of Grimsvig from the joyless rule of Magnus, who has outlawed Yuletide celebrations under the guise of trying to increase output from the coal mine the town’s men work in. Santa, or rather Klaus, has known the town in better days and seeks to return happiness and celebration to it.

Klaus began as really interesting concept released close enough to Christmas to really make the book fun. After the first issue, it seemed a shame that it was only part of a six-issue miniseries and that the story would not conclude until well after Christmas came and went. It seemed to be a real missed opportunity. However, with each issue the story unveils more and more of itself and further piques interest. Though everything continues to be an assimilation of Christmas iconography, it is done in such a way that that it expands the interest in the world beyond simply a passing seasonal investment. At this point, the tragedy is not that the story didn’t finish in time for Christmas, it’s that the story will end at all when such an interesting setting continues to unfold each issue.

The characters are obviously familiar. Not simply Klaus in his representation of Santa but relationships like the romantic connection between Klaus and Magnus’s wife, Dagmar. However, the way this world continues to set itself apart from expectation and traditional folklore prevents anything from cliché or tired.

The story works the imagination, trying to anticipate what goes on beyond the pages. The living toys that Klaus creates, are they related to the living wood he cut from a dead tree? Is the dark spirit dwelling within the coal mind the story’s version of Krampus? Seldom is a reader given so much in a story that they care to ask what lies ahead. It’s that suspense and curiosity that makes this book such a strong seller.

Keeping up with the great Grant Morrison, Dan Mora does a marvelous job creating the visual aesthetic for this book. From the hulking yet approachable Klaus to the beauty of the woodland spirits, Mora continues to prove to be a fantastic choice developing this character and creating this world.

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Dan Mora
Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review