December 19, 2016
Method Man and The Christmas Spirit of Vengeance
by Ryan Harrington
2016 was an excellent year for rappers and literature. Whether it was the prison memoir, or the children’s book, hip-hop stars and publishing made for some hot collabs.
Any cultural phenomenon worthy of the name has a Christmas edition — and this shall be no exception. Last week Method Man (born Clifford Smith) of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, in conjunction with Marvel Comics, released a Christmas-themed issue of the Ghost Rider comic. And as if that wasn’t hot enough fire for you, the story (feat.) Krampus, the devil-goblin who punishes naughty boys in girls in many European folk tales.
As Dennis DiClaudio reports for the A.V. Club:
The conversation between hip-hop and Marvel continues as one of rap’s most storied lyricists takes the Hell Charger out for a ride,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said of the project in a statement. “In Ghost Rider X-mas Special, the legendary Method Man sets up a classic conflict between Robbie Reyes, the current Ghost Rider, and Krampus, a mythical creature who’s perhaps best described as the anti-Santa.
The beef at the heart of the story is between Robbie Reyes’s Christmas-crazed younger brother, and the joyless bullies at school entirely lacking in the Christmas spirit — prime targets for a Krampus teaching moment.
DiClaudio reminds us that Method Man is no stranger to the Ghost Rider series. The first instantiation of the popular Marvel character was “Johnny Blaze” (it’s sort of like Dr. Who, the Ghost Rider changes, keep up), and, sure enough, Method Man has rapped under that name.
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.