Review: Santa Claus Is A Tough-As-Nails Private Eye In ‘Silent Knight’

by James Ferguson

He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Everyone is familiar with Santa Claus, bringing toys to kids around the world every Christmas, but what does he do the other 364 days of the year? Silent Knight gives us an idea, showing Saint Nick as a gristled private eye, saving lost children with a twinkle in his eye and a clenched fist.

I have to admit, Silent Knight got me right from the jump with that premise. It’s so absurd that I had to learn more. Writer George O’Connor digs into a by-the-numbers private detective story, but with this one insane twist in that the main character is Santa Claus. This adds another level to it, reimagining the jolly fat man as this down-and-dirty bruiser.
The dialogue, along with Santa’s internal narration, are filled with Christmas puns. There are so many references to his nice and naughty lists. Those play a key part in the story and rightfully so as they allow Kris Kringle to understand who’s really evil and who has kindness in their hearts. That certainly gives him a leg up over other private eyes.

There are some holes in this idea, like how Santa goes back to the North Pole from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It makes you wonder why the criminals don’t just do everything they need to do in that month, but that’s not enough to take you out of the story. In the scheme of things, we really only scrape the surface as to what Santa can do in this role. His ability to go down chimneys plays a part, but what about the sack of toys or the sled? I have to wonder what else can be pulled in to help in his investigations.
Artist DaFu Yu’s design for Santa makes him look pretty awesome. He’s not wearing a garish red and white suit. Instead, it’s a low key hoodie with a high-collared jacket, dark pants, big boots, and fingerless gloves. He’s chubby, but not fat. There’s muscle there and he’s not afraid to use it. Despite this gruff exterior, there’s a kindness to his face. You understand who he is and what he means to do.

There’s an array of villains causing trouble in town, each crazier than the last. A maniacal one-eyed man is behind all this, leading a hodge podge of rogues ripped right out of a video game. There’s the samurai school girl, a dominatrix, and my favorite, the super strong conjoined twins. Santa doesn’t bat an eye as he faces them all in an effort to save some kids.
Colorist Lesley Atlansky gives Silent Knight a dark, gritty texture fitting for the tone of the story. Sure, we’re dealing with Santa Claus here, but this is not a bright, clean place. Throughout it all, Saint Nick shines through like this beacon of hope. It’s not that he’s glowing or anything. He just represents peace…even if he’s going to get it by punching bad guys right in the face.

Silent Knight grabs you with an unforgettable premise and sticks the landing through a solid noir tale filled with crime, redemption, and hope. It paints a cultural icon in a new light and I’m here for it. It does make me wonder what else can be done with a story like this. What is the Easter Bunny up to the rest of the year?
Silent Knight from Homeless Comics is currently available directly from the publisher or digitally through ComiXology.

%d bloggers like this: