Santa's on a slay ride in Christmas-themed horror comic The Deviant

Art from The Deviant #1.
(Image credit: Image Comics)

It comes around quicker every year... Hot on the heels of DC announcing the first of its holiday titles last week comes the reveal of a new Christmas-themed horror comic from Image. The Deviant, written by James Tynion IV, drawn by Joshua Hixson, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, is a nine-issue miniseries about a Santa-themed serial killer.

Image's synopsis for the new comic reveals that it takes place over two time periods, stating: "As snow falls over Milwaukee in 1972, a blood-stained Santa Claus commits unimaginable atrocities against young men. Fifty years later, a troubled young writer interviews this so-called 'Deviant Killer,' who still maintains his innocence from behind bars. And as Christmas approaches once again, the past returns, wielding a sharpened ax."

You can check out several sinister pages from the first issue in the gallery below.

Writer James Tynion IV describes the new book as, "something a little different," also stating the book has allowed him the chance to "explore the intersection of my queer identity and a broader scope of cultural transgression and deviance. This is my response to Silence of the Lambs and Jeffrey Dahmer serving as my first real glimpses of my queer identity as a young closeted Midwestern boy. It's one of the darkest and most personal stories I've ever written. It's also a story about Christmas."

Artist Joshua Hixson added, "The Deviant is the kind of book I've been wanting to make for a long time. While I've been no stranger to the horror genre in my career of making comics, this story scratches a particular itch and is unlike anything I've been a part of. And to get to do it with James, Steve, and Hassan at Image Comics has been so creatively rewarding. I'm really excited for people to read it this holiday season."

Cover art for The Deviant #1.

(Image credit: Image Comics)

Elsewhere, Tynion IV has found great success with W0rldtr33, his ongoing cyberpunk horror collaboration with artist Fernando Blanco and colorist Jordie Bellaire (also for Image). That series closes out its first arc this month with the publication of W0rldtr33 #5.

The Deviant #1 is published by Image Comics on November 15.

Did you know that Santa Claus is real in the Marvel universe? And that he's a mutant...

Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.