Tomahawk #138, February 1972

The cover promises “A Different Kind of Christmas Story” — and so it was. Following far too many years when Tomahawk was a bog-standard Silver Age DC comic with the Revolutionary frontiersman battling aliens, giant purple gorillas, and robots, incoming editor Joe Kubert moved the action forward a few years, and shifted the focus onto Tomahawk’s son, the half-Indian Hawk. The stories became more gritty, and Frank Thorne came in as artist.

The tale presented here, “Christmas”, was written by Bob Kanigher and is a reasonably affecting little ditty telling of a nasty plot by some ne’er-do-wells to start a war between settlers and Native Americans. The elderly Tomahawk’s wife and young son are kidnapped, and he and Hawk set out to rescue them before conflict escalates. They succeed in typically brutal fashion, and then Tomahawk dresses up as Santa to deliver gifts to the Native Americans.

Somewhat bizarrely for a Western, the splash page presents Frank Thorne’s depiction of the crucifiction of Christ, complete with grim-faced Roman centurions….

Cover by Joe Kubert.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ONE & ALL

©2008 DC Comics