...for Timeshredder...

An oversized collectors' edition comic book released by DC Comics in 1975. It consisted of reprints of Christmas-themed stories dating back to 1940. The cover depicts Superman carrying a sleigh that contains Santa Claus, Wonder Woman, Batman, the Sandman, Sandy the Golden Boy, and Cain.

The spandex-clad holiday festivities get started with a story about Superman. The oldest tale in the comic, it is from 1940 and was not credited to any artist or writer. It looks like the work of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The story starts with Clark Kent and Lois Lane going to a department store to look for some articles to write for the Daily Planet. They meet Billy Connelly, a kid whose family is too poor to buy any presents, and are inspired to encourage Planet editor Perry White to start a toy drive for needy children. Up in the North Pole, Santa Claus (a loyal subscriber to the Daily Planet) is pleased to read about the toy campaign.

Meanwhile, peeping tom Clark Kent peeks inside a luxury apartment with his X-ray vision and sees spoiled brat James Daniels angrily ranting about the latest gift from his father. He doesn't want some stupid toy train -- he wants "a motorboat or maybe a YACHT!" Clark resolves to set the kid straight, sneaks into the house at night, and takes James on a tour of some poor children's homes, where they are either content to play with a single broken doll or heartbroken that they have no toys at all.

That's all well and good, but where are the mean old bastards who hate Christmas and attack Santa? Hey, they're on the next page! Dr. Grouch and Mr. Meaney fly to the North Pole in their airship, planning on talking Santa out of this nonsense about giving toys away. They demand that Santa convert his toy factory into work on commercial properties, but Santa has the elves chase them out with cattle prods and popguns. Enraged, Grouch and Meaney attack the Planet's toy drive, knocking out Clark and Lois with gas guns (Clark just pretends to be unconscious) and setting fire to the toys. Once the modern-day Scrooges are gone, Clark extinguishes the fire with his super-breath. Distressed to learn that their evil plans have been foiled, Grouch and Meaney plot to attack and destroy Santa's workshop! Lois, who managed to discover who had attacked her back at the Planet, sneaks aboard their airship but gets caught and tied to a rocket. Grouch and Meaney start smashing toys at the workshop, but Santa manages to roust them with an army of animated toys!

After Superman saves Lois from the rocket, she is promptly re-kidnapped by Grouch and Meaney. And back at the North Pole, the elves inform Santa of some truly dire news: Grouch and Meaney have kidnapped the reindeer! Desperate for help, Santa calls Superman... on his radio station. You always wondered what Santa was doing all year when he wasn't making toys? He was spinning all the latest Top-40 hits for worldwide listeners on the Zoo-98, KLAS-North Pole. When Supes hears Santa's call for aid, he flies north. Once he hears of the problem, the Man of Steel quickly locates Meaney's van and returns it to the North Pole.

But when the reindeer are released, Meaney quickly leaps forward and sprays the reindeer with his gas gun! They're asleep for the night now -- how will Santa get his toys delivered now? But Superman gets the toys and Santa loaded into the sleigh (and Meaney gets tossed into the back, too), then he carries the sleigh to help Santa make his rounds. Once they get near Dr. Grouch's house, Superman throws Meaney down his chimney, shouting after him, "Don't say we didn't give you anything, Meaney! We are -- your life!"

But Santa decides to give Grouch and Meaney some gifts anyway, saying that there is some good in everyone. Surprised by Santa's act of goodwill and charity, Grouch and Meaney reform on the spot, release Lois from captivity, and pledge to dedicate their lives to doing good deeds.

And in a short epilogue to the story, wealthy James Daniels is shown delivering stacks of toys to poor children, having learned that "it's more fun to give than receive!"

Our next story, "The Silent Night of the Batman," was published in 1969. It was written by Mike Friedrich, with art by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. Batman answers the Bat-Signal one Christmas to discover that Commissioner Gordon hasn't called him out for any emergency -- he doesn't think Bats should be patrolling on Christmas and should take it easy. Batman says that'd sure be nice, but crime never takes a holiday. Nevertheless, he agrees to pass some time singing Christmas carols with some policemen while waiting for a call to come in.

And while the readers get freaked-out by the idea of grim-and-gritty Batman singing "Jingle Bells," a number of crimes are thwarted and good deeds done under strange Batman-related concidences. Some kids snatch a package from a shopper, but when they discover it's a Batman doll, they re-wrap the present and take it back. A mugger thinks he's about to kill Batman when he discovers it's really an old blind man in a Batman costume collecting donations for a Wayne Foundation Christmas drive. The mugger has a change of heart and goes home. And a woman missing her husband in the Army goes for a walk and while preparing to throw herself from a suspension bridge with a silhouette like the Bat-Signal is surprised by his unexpected return home for the holidays.

Finally, Batman realizes that he and the police officers have been singing carols all night long. The cops fade away like ghosts. Did he imagine them, or were they spirits ensuring a peaceful holiday for Gotham City?

Next is a short piece from the 1971 horror comic "House of Mystery," as horror host Cain (assisted by writer Len Wein and artist Berni Wrightson -- and by a sultry witch in a skimpy Santa costume) spins the tale of the "Night Prowler." A man and his wife wake up one night to hear noises downstairs. Is it the notorious Night Prowler they've heard about on TV? The criminal who breaks into and ransacks homes? The man sneaks downstairs with his shotgun, ready to defend his home and family. But what he sees sends him back upstairs, assuring his wife that everything is okay. What was it? No one can tell for sure -- though the sounds of hoofbeats and sleigh bells on the rooftop may provide a clue...

After that comes a 1942 Wonder Woman story by William Moulton Marston and Harry Peter. It's a needlessly convoluted story, told for the most part from the point-of-view of a pine tree, in which Wonder Woman (in her disguise as Diana Prince) and Steve Trevor travel to a small town on the Canadian border. Since Amazons are able to understand the language of trees (!), Wondy is able to learn that there is a nest of Nazi saboteurs (with outrageous accents!) nearby. Trevor pooh-poohs the idea, and Diana gives him the slip so she can turn into Wonder Woman. She finds a badly-coded Nazi message hidden in the trunk of the tree, then hides her civilian clothes under the pine to do some of her own investigating.

Meanwhile, the tree is found by two children who have gotten lost in the blizzard. The tree drops Diana's civilian clothes to them to keep them warm. A lengthy and irritating flashback begins, in which the children's mother is sleazily romanced by a German spy. Their lumberjack father comes home and catches them, slugs out the Nazi, sends his innocent wife away, and smashes the Christmas tree and all the decorations because they remind him too much of his wife. Desperate to see their mother, the children set out alone in the blizzard and get lost.

As the flashback ends, the children are found by more Nazi spies. Unable to locate the coded message that Wonder Woman found, the Nazis believe the children took it. While one Nazi guards the boy at the tree, the other takes the girl back to her home to rob the family of their food. They are caught by her father, but the Nazi is armed, so the father doesn't put up a struggle. Sadistically, the Nazi plans to push both of them off a cliff, but Wonder Woman shows up in the nick of time and rescues both of them.

Oh, but the Nazi treachery is not finished yet! The amorous Nazi lures the family's mother out onto the mountain to kidnap her. When the lumberjack sees them together, he thinks they're romancing each other and tries to jump a ravine to get to them, but Wonder Woman lassoes him, swings him around her head a few times, and tosses him to the opposite side of the ravine (the Nazi has made his escape with the mother by now) so he can tie the lasso to a tree so she and the little girl can climb across to the other side (What did I tell you about needlessly convoluted?).

Wonder Woman still doesn't know where the little boy and his mother are being held, so she has the lumberjack tie her to a tree, hoping the Nazis will find her and take her to whichever cave they're all holed up in. Ya know what? Wonder Woman's kinky. Sure enough, the Nazis take her to the cave and chain her against a door before they leave. When the boy and his mother start hammering at the other side of the door, Wondy says, "Ouch! Stop spanking me -- I'll be good!" Let me say one more time for emphasis: Wonder Woman is kinky. But she easily snaps the chains and busts down the door. She frees the little boy, but suggests that the mother stay chained up for now, in a ploy to win her husband back. Yeah, I bet lumberjacks are kinky, too.

Meanwhile, the Nazis set explosives to cause an avalanche on top of Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman's friend Etta Candy, who are on their way back up the mountain. But Wonder Woman leaps to their rescue and stops the avalanche with the uprooted pine tree while Etta Candy and her troops round up the Nazi. And when the lumberjack sees that the Nazis had to tie his wife up to keep her, he realizes that he had misjudged her. Wonder Woman plants the pine tree in the family's yard, though they use the top of it for their Christmas tree. Happy, convoluted endings for all!

And finally, we have a tale of the Golden Age Sandman with his sidekick, Sandy the Golden Boy. "Santa Fronts for the Mob" was created back in 1942 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

The story starts with a bunch of mobsters coming up with a scheme based on the lousy Santa employed by Miller's department store. Posing as legitimate businessmen, they promise to get Miller a top-notch Santa. Meanwhile, their henchmen recruit a hard-luck wrestler named Mountain Man Bearde (his schtick is that he looks like a mountain man and gets stomped in most of his bouts). The new Santa is a big hit, but Wesley Dodds and Sandy Hawkins (a.k.a. the Sandman and Sandy the Golden Boy) recognize him and smell a rat. That night, they trail him to a mafia hideout but are surprised to discover that they're not doing anything illegal -- they're working overtime to promote Miller's store. Nevertheless, they remain suspicious.

But soon enough, the real scheme is revealed. The mobsters are taking Santa on personal visits to the families of the richest kids to visit him -- then robbing them! Bearde knew nothing about this and isn't at all happy. Sandman and Sandy intervene and drive the crooks off, but the gangsters bring Bearde along with them at gunpoint.

They go to the department store to rob the safe. Again, the heroes catch up to them, and a tremendous fight ensues. But as the mobsters get the heroes on the ropes, Bearde joins the fight to help put the bad guys down. Sandman tells the police how Bearde helped them, and on Christmas morning, Bearde helps Sandman and Sandy deliver presents to the poor kids in Suicide Slum.

Other filler material in the comic includes a maze, a word-find puzzle, some lyrics to famous Christmas carols, and Christmas greetings from Superman, Superboy, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, the Golden Age Green Lantern and Flash, Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr., and DC editors Julius Schwartz, Murray Boltinoff, Joe Orlando, Joe Kubert, Gerry Conway, Dennis J. O'Neil, and E. Nelson Bridwell.

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