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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"Christmas Corral"
Moonstone's Holiday Super Spectacular
Story: Mac Rauch
Art: Ken Wolak
Covers: Marat Michaels & Bob Pedroza (A), Michael Stribling (B), Dave Aikens & Andy Bennett (C)


Giant worms from the Andromeda Nebula arrive on Earth to meet Jesus Christ.


Story Summary
As Buckaroo and the Hong Kong Cavaliers prepare for a huge Christmas rock and roll concert in the desert, they are suddenly approached by a slithering swarm of giant caterpillars called Wormen from the Andromeda Galaxy. Buckaroo rides out to meet them and they tell him they are here to meet Jesus Christ.


Obviously, Jesus is not there to greet them, but Buckaroo decides to show them the sculpture of the baby Jesus from the manger scene which is part of the concert's decorations. But the Wormen seem more impressed with Perfect Tommy and Reno, who are both dressed in Santa Claus suits. They must think Santa is a real life holy figure.

Suddenly the grounds are attacked from the air by Earthly weapons, killing many of the Wormen, including the leader, their queen. The remaining Wormen also die with the passing of their queen, who has excreted a large egg in her death throes.
The Cavaliers discover a dud bomb that identifies it as a product of Wackenbush Correctional Logistics, a private contractor known to be rounding up aliens down on the border.
Buckaroo has a few of the interns hide the egg with a local desert prospector named Mose. On the night of the concert, Buckaroo is summoned to the old prospector's shack and he finds the egg has hatched. He thinks WCL will be after the little tyke, so Mose, along with the interns, agree to hide the baby at a new location at an old silver mine.
Buckaroo returns to the concert grounds and is about to start jamming with the Cavaliers when Wackenbush helicopters descend on the crowd. But the band plays on anyway. And, up in the desert hills, Mose and Calico, with the baby caterpillar, witness more helicopters descending on the old shack.





Didja Know?


The story's title, "Christmas Corral", is a play on title of Charles Dickens' classic 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol. The use of the word "corral" may also be an allusion to the manger which is said to have held the baby Jesus shortly after his birth.


Didja Notice?


On page 1 of the story, Li exclaims, "Holy, Shi-tzu!" Obviously, this is a play on the epithet "holy shit" in the English language. "Shi-tzu" is a breed of small dog that originated in China.


On page 3, Buckaroo is riding a horse named Buttermilk. This was also the name of his horse when he was a young boy shortly after his father's death (as seen in "A Tomb With a View"). It's theoretically possible, but highly unlikely, that this could be the same horse still living, though the horse depicted here has light fur and a dark mane and tail, whereas the young Buttermilk was light-colored throughout (and horses don't really go from light to dark in coloring as they get older). In Against the World Crime League, he rides a piebald horse named Buttermilk that is said to have formerly been Penny's! In "Return of the Screw" Part 2, Buckaroo is riding a similar-looking horse to the one seen here, but it is called Old Dan.


Li reaches for his holstered gun, which he calls a Peacemaker, on page 3. The (Colt 45) Peacemaker is a nickname for the Colt Single Action Army six-shooter, manufactured from 1873-1892.


The Wormen claim to be from the Andromeda Galaxy. It is a spiral galaxy, just as they describe, but it's actually about 2.5 million light-years away from Earth, not one million as they state here.


On page 4, panel 2, Reno is standing next to what appears to be a mounted weapon with the name XT2 LAZAR printed on the

side. Possibly it is some kind of laser weapon; I can find no evidence of a real world device by that name/brand.


What is the object that drops from the sky on page 8, panel 1 and what are the strange markings on it seen on page 9? I assume this device is a remote controlled drone which is what was attacking the concert grounds.


On page 9, Team Banzai realizes their Wormen guests have been attacked by Wackenbush Correctional Logistics, a private contractor known to be rounding up aliens down on the border. This is a fictional corporation, but probably inspired by the real world Wackenhut Corporation, a security services firm; in 2010 they were bought out and the name was changed to G4S. Notice that the initials of the fictional company are WCL... 


The Wormen egg is hidden with an old prospector named Mose. Possibly, the name is a variation of the Biblical Moses, as Mose is considered an alternative version of Moses' Hebrew name of Moshe.


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