Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1
Twenty-five holiday tales of merry mutants, one for each day of December 1 through December 25! What does Magneto do for Hanukkah? What’s Rogue and Gambit’s first married Christmas like? Is Jubilee truly the master of navigating malls during the holidays? These questions and more are answered as all your favorite X-Men and more creators than you can shake a jingle bell at come together for a holiday celebration to last all month long! (Official Solicitation from MARVEL COMICS)
JUBILEE in “MELE KALIKIMAKA!” Written by Chris Sims & Chad Bowers, art by Marco Failla, color by Israel Silva
We start this collection with Jubilee and Shogo preparing for a month-long vacation to Hawaii, but as the pair departs, the mystery begins.
KITTY PRYDE in “NEVER AGAIN” Written by Chris Claremont, art by Terry Dodson, color by Chris Sotomayor
Claremont takes this opportunity to celebrate Kitty’s Jewish heritage while potentially plotting a course for her future– as the first mutant President of the US!
WOLVERINE in ” HOT CLAWS FOR HANUKKAH” Written by Charles Soule, art by Ryan Browne, Color by Jordan Boyd
Who needs a snow shovel? No one when that short ball of mutant mayhem named wolverine comes barrelling through your property chasing them dang pesky ninjas with those new and improved hot claws. Charles Soule is either being self-congratulatory with this one or sending up the hot claws creation (which has been a source of controversy amongst wolverine fans) in a very satirical way. Personally, I think it’s the latter because the story made me chuckle out loud and that was the point I believe. 7/10 (review by Ross Hutchinson)
JEAN GREY in “DREAMING OF A WADE CHRISTMAS” Written by Jean Grae, art by Shawn Crystal, color by Rico Renzi
Join Jean and Deadpool in a strange Christmas moment brought to you by the imagination of a child.
NATURE GIRL in “I HATE CHRISTMAS” Written by Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler, art/color by Amilcar Pinna
A heart-wrenching tale in which Nature Girl laments the screams of dying trees.
JUBILEE in “JINGLE ALL THE WAIT A MINUTE…” Written by Chris Sims & Chad Bowers, art by Marco Failla, color by Israel Silva
Jubilee wakes up… kidnapped and stashed in an abandoned mall???
GAMBIT in ‘THE CHICHE THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS.” Written by Styles P & Poobs, Art by Luciano Vecchio, colors by Carlos Lopez
Gambit decides to play Christmas Robin Hood after some kids on the street tell him that anti-mutant bigot businessman has bought up all the Wolverine figurines for Xmas and well Mutantdom’s greatest thief isn’t letting that stand… Luciano Vecchio’s art is excellent, perfectly colored by Carlos Lopez and the writers make Gambit sound like Gambit. 8/10 (review by Ross Hutchinson)
ICEMAN in “WHITE ELEPHANT” Written by Sina Grace, art by Cory Smith, color by Jordan Boyd
Bobby organizes a White Elephant exchange with the X-Kids!
MAGNETO in “The Impossible Enemy” Written by Cullen Bunn, art by Roland Boschi, color by Dan Brown
Magneto is reminded of the “miracles of the past” in a Warsaw ghetto.
STORM in “CHRISTMAS JEER” Written by Charlamagne tha God, art by Alitha E. Martinez, color by Jay David Ramos
Storm simultaneously encounters racism AND speciesism… and strikes back!
JUBILEE in “DECK THE MALLS” Written by Chris Sims & Chad Bowers, art by Marco Failla, color by Israel Silva
Jubilee and Shogo are still trapped in the mall but now its filled with evil robot doppelgangers! A plot begins to form…
NEMESIS in “THE GIVING SEASON” Written by Christopher Daniels, art by Ray-Anthony Height & LeBeau Underwood, color by Jay David Ramos
Beast and Dr. Nemesis feud over giving gifts to Kavita Rao in a hilarious short tale!
ROGUE & GAMBIT in “CHRISTMAS CAT-ASTROPHE” Written by Kelly Thompson, art by David Lopez, Colors by Chris Sotomayor
The freshly married Mr & Mrs. X need to deal with the very normal task of administering an uncooperative cat medicine with little success. The perfection of this one-page story is seeing the freshly married mutant couple in domestic felicity which is something fans of the couple have waited years (literally) for and therein lies the magic of it. Thompson knows these two inside out and the Xmas onesie and Christmas Shirt are a nice touch. 9/10 (Review by Ross Hutchinson)
NIGHTCRAWLER and OLD MAN LOGAN in “THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING” written, drawn and colored by Chip Zdarsky
Zdarsky produces an absolute gem with an exceptionally clever throwback and deeply heartwarming story of friendship and what’s important. He captures the “voices” of Old Man Logan and Nightcrawler perfectly 10/10 (Reviewed by Ross Hutchinson)
CANNONBALL in “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” Written by Al Ewing, art by PJ Holden, color by Antonio Fabela
Cannonball and Smasher celebrate a Shi’ar Solstice together and Sam is reminded that there are grinches everywhere in the galaxy…
DOMINO (and a sniper rifle) in “THE NAUGHTY LIST” Written, drawn and colored by Anthony Piper
A favorite story in this issue. You better watch out you better not lie. You better not be child trafficking and I will tell you why… Santa may make the naughty list but Domino crosses people off that list … permanently. Very impressed with the artist’s rendition of Neena in this one-pager which was scripted, drawn and colored by Anthony Piper in a minimalistic but atmospheric style which felt really spot one for Domino. 9/10 (Review by Ross Hutchinson)
THE BRADDOCKS in “BABY STEPS” Written by Leah Williams, art by Marcio Takara, color by Chris O’Halloran
Join the Braddocks for Christmas and see Brian “reunited” with Betsy!
GLOB HERMAN IN “DECK THE HALLS” Written by Ed Brisson, art by Pere Perez, color by Chris Sotomayor
Poor Glob. No love. Ed Brisson scripts a speech free page which manages to flawlessly communicate the emotion its meant to in a poignant way. One page perfection where words are not required because all the feels are right there communicated through the art.
GABBY and MINDEE in “SECRET SANTA” Written by Vita Ayala, Art by Pere Perez, colors by Chris O’Halloran
Gabby tracks down her secret Santa in a tale that celebrates the joy of sisterhood and the importance of familial connection no matter how tenuous during the holidays.
JUBILEE in “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” Written by Chris Sims & Chad Bowers, art by Marco Failla, color by Israel Silva
Jubilee continues her time in the strange shopping mall and manages to retrieve Shogo’s Bamf doll at the last second in spectacular and acrobatic fashion.
HOPE SUMMERS in “THE LONGEST NIGHT” Written by Tini Howard, art by Brent Schoonover, color by Chris O’Halloran
Several X-Men are reminded of one those they lost in the year when Bobby tries in clown fashion to get a quiet Hope to join the Christmas festivities. Rest in peace Nathan you earned it.
HANK MCCOY in “BLUE CHRISTMAS” Written by Rainbow Rowell, art by Kris Anka, color by Matt Wilson
Rainbow Rowell uses Hank’s mutated appearance as the perfect vehicle to capture the melancholia and loneliness of going home to a family that may love you but just do not understand you as Beast goes home to visit his family for the holidays. (Review by Ross Hutchinson)
NIGHTCRAWLER in “X-MAS BAMF” Written by Esoteric, art by Michael Shelfer, color by Federico Blee
Nightcrawler prevents two youths from making a mistake on Christmas Eve. There is some really great dialogue, nods to X-Stories past and a clever homage (first panel) to Nightcrawler’s creators by artist Michael Shelfer which gave me a warm feeling inside so job accomplished. (Review by Ross Hutchinson)
JAMIE MADROX in “THE GIFT OF THE MADRI” Written by Matt Rosenberg, art by Andy MacDonald, color by Tamra Bonvillain
Jamie Maddrox deals with the gift of giving and the oft-dreaded Christmas shopping in Jamie’s usual goofball style. His solution is quite ingenious (in his mind) although the X-Men are not too impressed come X-mas morning. Rosenberg has really made Jamie his own in the mini he wrote earlier this year and it shows. (review by Ross Hutchinson)
ARCADE in “WALKIN’ IN A WINTER MURDERLAND” Written by Chris Sims & Chad Bowers, art by Marco Failla, color by Israel Silva
We learn that the mall that Jubilee found herself in with Shogo in the previous tales was, in fact, a “Murdermall” that v Arcade has concocted to sell to some backers and Jubliee is part of the sales pitch!! Jubilee proves that Arcade’s assessment of her as one of the weaker X-Men is completely wrong beats the Xmas stuffing out of him (haha) even as Storm and Nightcrawler come to the rescue. It’s best to the story sequentially with Jubilee’s other stories in the issue. The home alone reference is pretty funny and its a well written and drawn holiday romp.
A fun anthology that is a must-read for all X-Fans. The talent collected here is exceptional!
Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1
Writing - 8.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/10
Art - 8.5/10
Color - 8.5/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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