The holiday season inspires many wonderful novelty items for decorating one's house, but aside from tree ornaments and wrapping paper, there aren't many outlets for comic book stars to shine.
That's why when it comes to hanging out for the holidays, stockings are an enjoyable way to capitalize on one's super hero movie fandom without getting too tacky.
Here's a rundown of a few appropriate choices for the season, along with a look at the cinematic future of each franchise. (Image courtesy of The Deadpool Bugle and artist Paco Medina.)
Shellhead's heavy-duty armor plating may not seem like a logical choice for a typically plushy decoration, but movie and comic fans alike can't resist the charm of an Iron Man novelty. This summer's "Iron Man 2" will likely have a positive effect on next winter's stocking offerings – if folks can reconcile War Machine with "peace on earth and good will toward super villains."
While not every fan was in love with Deadpool's treatment in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," Ryan Reynolds' forthcoming portrayal of mercenary Wade Wilson shouldn't have too many seeing red — at least until he starts swinging his katanas around. Reynold's Green Lantern role could also inspire some serious holiday cheer before long, which would mean double the decorating power provided someone picked up those particular merchandising rights.
The Webslinger's been making the Splash Page rounds a lot of late, between casting and plot rumors for "Spider-Man 4" and behind-the-scenes developments regarding the seemingly tentative Spider-Man musical. No matter what drama unfolds, Spidey maintains his composure hanging out in a living room for the holidays.
Christian Bale's angry Batvoice may seem more suited for Krampus than Santa, but there's no denying his vigilant visage inspires confidence on Christmas morning. Kids may have to wait a few years to see more of the Caped Crusader in live action, but "Batman: Arkham Asylum" and "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" should tide fans over for the holiday season.
Even though his blue costume clashes a bit with the traditional Christmas combo of red and green, Supes looks good flying over a fireplace. Brandon Routh and Bryan Singer may be moving on to different properties, but since DC plans on forging a new strategy for its stable of characters in January, fans could have a much clearer picture of the coming decade's super hero slate soon.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Despite a relatively puny stocking assortment, the Hulk's green hue matches most seasonal decorations with ease. Edward Norton's home may or may not contain a few of these around the holidays, but with any luck 2012's projected "Avengers" release could see him reprise his role as the Jade Giant.
Marvel's First Family may very well be finished with its initial cinematic incarnations, but future films aren't out of the question. A few years down the road, kids may have their own Silver Surfer stockings.
Do you have a favorite comic book-based stocking? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!