Christmas Comics Cavalcade: A Very Merry X-Mas In ‘Merry X-Men Holiday Special’
by Tony Thornley
The X-Men and Christmas have a long history. Some of the most important events in the franchise’s history have happened around the holiday, and at a minimum a mutant Christmas story is always fun. Because of that, 2018’s Merry X-Men Holiday Special is worth checking out for anyone looking for a fun Christmas read.
This one-shot features a single page story for each day from December 1st through December 24th, then a wrap up story set on Christmas day. It’s a joyful celebration of the X-Men, their relationships with one-another and the Marvel universe in general. Naturally, some of these shorts are better than others, and the main narrative framing story, featuring Jubilee and a very familiar Marvel villain, is a ton of fun.
It’s frankly impressive how much this issue conveys about its characters. The framing story, by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Marco Failla, Israel Silva, and Travis Lanham, is an incredibly fun romp, showcasing how much Jubilee has grown as a character. Meanwhile others are simple stories with a deeper meaning, such as Chip Zdarsky’s Nightcrawler/Old Man Logan story, Betsy Braddock’s reunion with her brother by Leah WIlliams, Marcio Takara, and Chris O’Halloran, or Ed Brisson, Pere Perez and Chris Sotomayor’s silent Glob Herman story.
Others are great gags, like Kelly Thompson, David Lopez, and Sotomayor’s all too relatable Gambit and Rogue short, or Cannonball’s alien Christmas from Al Ewing, PJ Holden and Antonio Fabela. When the stories land, they’re darn near perfect, and they don’t need more space than they’re given.
There are a few stinkers, as I alluded to earlier. Charlemagne tha God’s extremely tone deaf Storm story has her completely out of character, and the Jean Grae’s Deadpool/Jean Grey short is just confusing. Unfortunately Chris Claremont’s Kate Pryde short (seen above) is also extremely frustrating to read, especially since Claremont keeps trying to force Kate into a box that she hasn’t fit in for over twenty years.
Overall though, if you’re an X-Men fan looking for something to get you in the holiday spirit this week. Make sure to check it out!