The Deviant: James Tynion IV’s New Image Series Is a Holiday-Themed Horror Story

Image Comics is getting into the spirit of Christmas with a new holiday-themed horror series written by James Tynion IV, The Deviant.

The Deviant is a new nine-issue Image Comics miniseries written by Tynion IV (Something Is Killing the Children, The Nice House on the Lake), illustrated by Joshua Hixson, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Launching in November, The Deviant centers around a murderous Santa Claus and an investigation into his crimes that dates back 50 years ago.

“As snow falls over Milwaukee in 1972, a blood-stained Santa Claus commits unimaginable atrocities against young men,” the publisher said of the series. “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.”

The Deviant is a ‘dark, focused psychological crime thriller’ set around Christmas

“The Deviant is something a little different,” said Tynion IV. “A dark, focused psychological crime thriller where I get 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.”

“The Deviant is the kind of book I’ve been wanting to make for a long time,” added Hixson. “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.”

The Deviant #1 features covers by Hixon, Martin Simmonds, Andrea Sorrentino, Sean Phillips, Christian Ward, and Lee Bermejo. The issue releases on November 15, 2023, from Image Comics.