Comic Comments – Happy Holidays!

So I’m either late or early depending on how you want to look at it.  I was going through my comics to be reviewed and noticed the Marvel Holiday Edition 2012 fell through the cracks.  I always enjoy it and loved the Wolverine and the X-Men story last year that I thought I had to do a quick review.  We are coming up on the holiday season again.  Heck stores even have Christmas decorations out!  It seems now from Halloween to New Years it’s all one push through the holidays.  So I’m joining the early kick off with this review.

There are 4 stories in the issue “Cold Hearted Christmas” writer Miljenko Horvatic, Artist Andrew Trabbold,  Colorist Jeff Campbell, Letters Rob Steen, and Editor Jody LeHeup.  Next my personal favorite of course “Logan’s Lost Lesson” Writer Kurtis J Wiebe, Penciler Patrick Schergerger, Inkers Patrick Scherberger & Cory Hamscher, Colorist Veronica Gandini, Letterer Simon Bowland, and Editor Jodan D. White.  Third is “Ol’ Saint Nick” writer Aaron Shaps, Artist Sebastian Piriz, Colorist Jeff Campbell, Letterer Rob Steen, and editor Sebastian Girner.  The final one is “Chinese Food For Christmas”  Writer Jamie S. Rich, Artist Paco Diaz, Colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Letters Jeff Eckleberry, and editor Daniel Ketchum.  Cover artists are Tim Seeley & Leonardo Olea.  The Digital Production Manage was Tim Smith3, Collection Editor Cory Levine, Assistand Editors Alex Starbuck & Nelson Ribeiro, Editors Special Projects Jennifer Grunwald & Mark D. Beazley, Senior Editor Special Projects Jeff Youngquist, Senior Vice President of Sales David Gabriel, SVP of Brand Planning & Communications Michael Pasicullo, Edior in Chief Axel Alonso, Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, Publisher Dan Buckley, and Executive Producer Alan Fine.

Next we’ll get the legal disclaimer out of the way: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.

First story features Spiderman and some villian called Cold Heart.  Don’t know her – don’t care but it’s a sweet story where Spiderman is after her after she escapes.  However he gains insight into her while assuring she’s captured.  He remembers her on the holidays. Aww….

Second goes after my heart with Logan willing to be the one the staff and students team up against.  He has the main student characters out in the snowy woods to play hockey and learn about teamwork and situational  awareness while they play hockey without powers.  Oh and since this is detention for wrecking Hank’s lab – no fun shall be had.  However despite his best efforts – the kids and staff pull together to have fun at Logan’s expense thus “accidently” building community spirit.

Next is another one of my favorite characters – Nick Fury.  Here it’s Christmas and he’s breaking into a Hydra base to find The Scar “a young upstart rising quickly through the ranks of the insidious organization as a genius saboteur.” Exactly why Nick himself is doing this when he’s supposed to be in semi-retirement as well as what happens when he gets to The Scar are all part of the holiday surprise. Nick is again another character with a tough exterior but heart of gold.

The final story is about what do the Jewish Marvel heroes do while the others are celebrating Christmas. The answer is have a Chinese food feast.  Apparently it’s something Ben Grimm looks forward to every year. There’s just one problem Ben winds up chasing a Christmas thief when he’s Jonesing for some Chinese.  It makes him late to the dinner.

Overall this is what a Holiday Special should be – fun short stories that fill in the gaps between the big action stories. It’s a romp with beloved characters.  The stories only reaffirm the aspects that make us love the characters in the first place.  Sure during the year I rant and rave about things going on in the plots – but it’s stories like these I’ve always enjoyed and get to the heart of why I come back even after being totally pissed off.  I honestly care about the core of my favorite characters.

The art of the stories varies showing a range of styles.   Some styles I love – like Spiderman’s tale (minus the Photoshop generated snowflakes in the air) to ones I just don’t care for – Fury’s tale and the cover.  Still none are so bad then make me cringe or I’m pushing through.  I liked Logan’s tale’s art and think Patrick Scherberger would be an improvement to be a regular in the Wolverine and the X-Men title. The final tale with Ben Grimm was a bit too cartoony for my every day taste but it fit the light story and added to the fun.

Over all it was a book that took me out of the holiday stress for a bit and gave me a few smiles along the way.  Isn’t that what a Holiday Special is supposed to do?  This one did it well.

I want to see the poutine lesson from the next day. I can see Logan teaching the original and the T-Rex. He’d call the one with veggies a sissified poutine.

Who knew Fury want to learn needlepoint so much?

You know it’s a happy ending when Ben Grimm finally gets to his Chinese feast and General Tso’s chicken!

Until next time!

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