Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Dan Mora
Published by Boom! Studios
Released May 4, 2016
“He’s real and he bleeds!” one soldier pursuing Grant Morrison’s Klaus screams out to his fellow men. Perhaps more than any other issue of this series so far, Klaus #5 solidifies Morrison’s version of Santa is just that: Morrison’s creation, rather than the St. Nicholas Americans are well aware of.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the character is easy to root for due to his rebellious fight for working people. The heart of this character along with Dan Mora’s excellent art makes Klaus #5 the solid chapter it is.
There are a few exciting character beats strewn throughout this comic. Klaus liberates the workers in the mine who suffer slave-like treatment and selflessly rejects their pleas for him to lead them. This character has always been sort of a tough-as-nails socialist and this scene is maybe the best example. It’s also interesting to see the villain have a bit of a breakdown throughout this comic, revealing his ultimately pathetic nature.
Beyond the very chewable moments of great characterization is some great action. Mora renders a scene in which Klaus flees arrow fire while running on rooftops with a solid sense of motion. The page layouts are dynamic and offer a good mix of different perspectives. The level of detail is impressive, only outdone by Mora’s rich colors. The flames from the arrows light up the blue, snowy skies in a rather impressive display.
It’s this action paired with the characterization that makes Klaus #5 such a meaty, well-rounded issue. Nothing in this comic is particularly special, but it’s well-crafted and continues a still resonate story. It’s also the penultimate issue of this limited series, with a fun conclusion that looks ahead to the likely great finale next month.