We may be starting a new year, but has anyone been able to go outside and experience it yet? Over half of the country is frozen and miserable. Perhaps, even with the snow, it’s possible for you to leave your home…but why would you? Doesn’t staying inside where it’s warm, maybe under a cozy blanket or besides a crackling fire sound so much better? Plus, that just so happens to be a great backdrop for one of our favorite winter (and spring, summer and fall) activities—comic book reading!
Don’t get us wrong. We understand the appeal of bundling up and hearing that newly fallen snow crunch beneath your boots, but there’s no reason you have to physically go out and do it. Not when there are plenty of comics perfect for getting you in the cold-weather mindset without having to actually get cold. And that’s a good thing, because when the snow outside gets really bad, going outside might not even be an option.
So, get comfortable, get warm, maybe even heat up some hot cocoa or apple cider, and enjoy these seven frosty stories perfect for a cold winter’s night.
The North Pole Crimes
Where to Read It: 1942’s World’s Finest Comics #7
Everything about this story is pure Golden Age fun. A group of criminals decide to start robbing artic climates, since most superheroes aren’t there. The gang dubs themselves the Snow Man Bandits, because they leave behind a snowman after every robbery. (Seriously, imagine planning a heist where someone has to quickly build a snowman as part of the plan. Only in comics!) The FBI recruit Batman and Robin to stop these crimes because they’re too busy dealing with World War II (which, to be fair, is a bit more important).
The story also has Robin wearing his legless Golden Age costume in the North Pole, and wouldn’t you know it, he almost dies of hypothermia. The story is also epic because it’s the debut of Batman and Robin’s all-white winter variant outfits. Eat your heart out Joel Schumacher.
Where to Read It: Superman For All Seasons #4
“Winter” is the final chapter of Superman For All Seasons, and the entire issue embodies everything we love about the coldest season of the year. There are snowball pranks, snow angels, walks in the snow, family reunions, coats, boots, hot drinks and a warm fireplace. Jeph Loeb’s script captures the warm emotions that surround winter, while Tim Sale’s beautiful artwork brings life to what’s otherwise a largely barren season. When Sale draws Smallville in the winter, you can feel the chill of the snow and the warmth of the Kent’s fireplace. Not to mention, having sadly lost Sale this past year, there’s never been a better time to experience this story—or reexperience it—than right now.
The Talk of the Saints
Where to Read It: Swamp Thing Winter Special #1
A snow monster has blanketed the planet in eternal winter and he’s stalking Swamp Thing. The frigid conditions have weakened Swamp Thing’s connection to the Green, causing him to lose his powers, his memory and his strength. Despite these challenges, Swampy is determined to protect a young boy and stop the snow monster once and for all. The only problem is that Swamp Thing doesn’t realize the terrible secret of the creature and the true cause of his memory loss.
This story by Tom King and Jason Fabok is full of danger and cold weather, but it’s still guaranteed to warm your heart.
World Below the North Pole
Where to Read It: 1951’s Wonder Woman #47
This story is set during the heart of the Cold War, as the United States battles the fictitious country of Warlandia. (Yes, the name is a bit on the nose. It’s the Silver Age. You just need to let those things slide.) Anyway, the Warlandians are testing their bombs at the North Pole, which is upsetting the subterranean society that lives there.
What? You haven’t heard about the mole men that live under the North Pole? Turns out they were once part of Atlantis, but they drifted to the Arctic. Thinking America is behind the bombs, they capture Steve Trevor and his crew, which is where Wonder Woman comes in. We get a snowy battle in the arctic, during the Cold War—this is wintry to the extreme. There’s also a lot of talk about Aurora Borealis, which Wonder Woman uses to defeat the Warlandians. It’s zany, it’s cold and it’s fun.
Where to Read It: 2020’s Batman/Superman #15
This one is basically “Batman v Superman: Snowball of Justice.” Yes, Batman and Superman have a snowball fight. Clark learns that Bruce has never been in one before because “Alfred hated getting his tux wet.” So, Superman decides to give his darkly cowled companion his very first snowball fight experience by lugging one at his shoulder.
Full disclosure, most of the issue centers around the threat of Solomon Grundy and the Secret Society of Super-Villains, but the heart and soul of the story is its brief snowball fight. Trust me, the context of it is sweet and is a shining reminder of why Superman and Batman’s friendship is special.
When I Grow Up, Part One
Where to Read It: 2017’s Super Sons #1
Now that you’ve seen Batman and Superman have a snowball fight, check out the epic one their sons engage in. Jon Kent gets in the middle of a snowball war at his school and the other side plays dirty by putting rocks in their snowballs. Luckily, Damian saves the day with the hugest snowball you’ve ever seen. It’s a fun wintery sequence and the rest of the story is pretty good too. Admittedly, there’s significantly less snow for the remainder of the “When I Grow Up” story arc, but I’d recommend reading the rest of it.
The Final Night
Where to Read It: The Final Night #1-4
How would you feel if winter never ended? What if the snow never melted and the first flowers of spring never grew? This is exactly what the DC Universe faces when our solar system is threatened by a being known as the Sun-Eater. As its name implies, the Sun-Eater eats stars, and Earth’s sun is looking pretty tasty to him. As the sun weakens, temperatures drop, the planet is covered in snow and society begins to crumble. Yes, apparently too much winter is a bad thing.
In fact, things get so bad that at one point the demon Etrigan offers to keep humanity warm by transporting them to hell. The planet collectively decides to take their chances in the snow. This ’90s event is a great look at the heroes of the DC Universe as they try to calm a planet facing extinction. Final Night also features an important turning point in the life of Hal Jordan. If you’re feeling cold this winter, this four-issue tale is a great way to keep things in perspective.
It may not be on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE (yet), but we’d also like to recommend “The Snow-Woman Wept” from Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #107. A mad scientist shoots Lois with a ray that turns her into an inanimate snow-woman. Why would such a ray exist? Is the dude just too lazy to make a snowman the way everyone else does? And if he is, then why not just…you know, not make a snowman? Snowman-making isn’t an essential part of life, like eating, sleeping and doing laundry. If the ray turned Lois into a clean pile of laundry, that I would get. But a snow-woman? How is that useful?
Anyhow, I’m digressing. The point is Lois is a snow-woman. She’s slowly melting, but unable to cry out for help and her tears are mistaken for melted snow. It’s crazy, which just may be what you need if you’ve been snowed in for a few days. If you see this in your back issue bins, you should definitely pick it up. And if you’re secretly working on a snow-woman ray yourself, maybe reconsider that one?
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.