Marvel Holiday Special #2
Issue(s): Marvel Holiday Special #2
In the inconsequential category, the Wolverine story is really a kid playing with a Wolverine toy at a store.
I mean, yes, please, more Michael Golden art. But what's the point of that?
The New Warriors story has some nice character bits that could have fit just fine into a regular issue.
The Spidey story is plotted by Richard Howell and nicely illustrated by Steve Lightle, with a script by Stan Lee.
Punisher of course had his own holiday special, but i guess he didn't have time in that one to weld a suit of spiked Santa Claus armor.
Doc Samson finds that 1990s comics have made it impossible for kids to listen to the story of Chanukah without embellishment.
The Thanos story is mostly a flashback, showing that Thanos tried to keep "certain holidays" in order to grant Gamora a semblance of normal childhood. Probably more interesting is a rare case of a margin note being left in. It says "One color over bkg. Please."
Lil Gamora saves Thanos from an assassination, at the cost of her dolly.
Based on her sentimental reaction, Thanos says that he should have realized then that Gamora would never make a good assassin.
I mean, fine, whatever. But if you're going to do a Thanos Christmas story, why not go all the way and have him riding around in his eponymous helicopter stealing gifts and dogfighting Santa's sleigh or something?
And Ann Nocenti of course finds a unique and unusual angle to tell a story. It's from the perspective of a little lamb statue that Daredevil bought from an antique shop.
Daredevil stops to look in on his mom, stops a mugging, visits the bar where he once confronted Mephisto (who, as Michael notes in the comments, may still be there)...
...and then drops the lamb off at a toy drive.
Nocenti characteristically doesn't end with the obvious (i.e. having the lamb wind up with a kid and living happily ever after). The last we see of it it's dropped into the pile, and i personally have to wonder how much a kid will appreciate an antique lamb statue as a toy. But it's weirdly endearing narrative.
There is also an Iron Man story, but it takes place "well before the events of current Iron Man issues", so i've had to split it into another entry.
There are also some pin-ups and a text piece by Roy Thomas reviewing many of Marvel's past Christmas stories (which happened in actual issues instead of a money grubbing oneshot).
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Thanos is said to be re-opening several of his old hideouts, which is how he finds the doll that reminds him of the Gamora story. In general, none of these stories really have any context, though, and can fit wherever the characters are free. Also, it's Christmas, so the usual "clump it with other Christmas stories if possible" rule applies. As noted above, the Iron Man story is in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showDaredevil, Doc Samson, Electro, Firestar, Justice, Laura Dunham, Mary Jane Watson, Microchip, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Nova (Rich Rider), Punisher, Rage, Silhouette, Sister Maggie Murdock, Speedball, Spider-Man, Thanos
Seriously, Thanos in his Thanos-Copter reigning down terror...er, presents would be an excellent Christmas story.
Posted by: Ataru320 | September 20, 2016 11:28 AM
Fnord, several readers have suggested the guy in the Daredevil story who says "A man who wears red like he does is bound to provoke something" is really Mephisto. See this scans daily, for example:
Posted by: Michael | September 20, 2016 7:52 PM
The Thanos story is somewhat important in that the ending reveals he cared more about Gamora than he ever let on, so Starlin is actually retconning Thanos' past to further justify his turn into an anti-hero in the present.
Posted by: Tuomas | September 21, 2016 4:00 AM
I've added a scan of "Mephisto", but i don't think i'll add him as a character appearing unless there's a Marvel handbook or something confirming that it's him. Mephisto could have been possessing or impersonating that guy in the previous appearance. It's weird for Mephisto to be constantly hanging out in a bar.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 22, 2016 1:28 PM
Disappointed you don't have Marvel Holiday Special #1. I came here looking for your reactions to the 100% canon revelation that Santa Claus is the most powerful mutant in the Marvel Universe.
Posted by: Greg T | October 3, 2016 4:57 PM
@Greg T... I believe that Santa has been retconned into an Inhuman so that Marvel Studios can use him :)
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 5, 2016 2:45 PM
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