ComicsVerse is celebrating the 12 Days of X-Mas by taking a look at some of our favorite X-Men holiday-themed issues! Today, we’re talking about the 2018 MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL.

It’s the twelfth and final day of X-Mas! This means there are only a few holiday-themed X-Men issues that we haven’t already talked about. We’ve already covered GENERATION X, NEW MUTANTS, X-MEN: EVOLUTION and so many more in this series but there’s one comic left that we’ve yet to touch on. If you’re a fan of modern comics, you’ve probably already guessed it: the 2018 MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL. This issue came out just a few weeks ago and is one of the few Marvel holiday specials that focuses solely on the X-Men. Compared to some of our past entries, the MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL is extremely positive and does an excellent job of including many different characters in one comic. The issue counts down every day of Christmas, giving each character a different day and a unique Christmas-themed story.

MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Countdown to X-Mas

Most of the stories aren’t plot-heavy since they only take up a page. The only story with a significant plot is Jubilee’s mall run since it spans three days instead of one. Of course, just because these stories are short doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to say. Many of these “spotlight stories” have to do with events that happened to the characters in the past year. Some of these stories touch on topics like the death of Cable, Jean Grey’s return, and Betsy’s transformation. Honestly, they aren’t for the casual reader. If you’re not up on your current X-Men comics, some of these holiday tales may be a little confusing. If you’re a dedicated fan, this is the kind of holiday X-Men issue you’ve been waiting for.

Pre-NYE Reflection in MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL

This past year was a big one for the X-Men, and I don’t say that lightly. The whole franchise got a bit of a facelift in 2018, with new titles, new characters, and daring storylines that dramatically altered the appearance of the current X-Men. Some fans will say Marvel writers did all those things to try and ramp up fake excitement (which might be true), but I like to think the 2018 X-Men changes came about for a good reason. The world of the X-Men was getting boring. Marvel needed to shake up the status-quo, and they did.

MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

With big changes comes the need for reflection. The MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL offers just that and more, in some cases. The unique format of the issue allows a plethora of writers, including Tini Howard and Chris Claremont, to touch on some current X-Men hot topics. A variety of artists keep each page fresh and reinforce the idea of all the X-Men celebrating the holidays in their own special ways.

Betsy is Home for Christmas

It’s hard to pick one particular story to talk about. The MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL has so many stories, and so many of them are really good. Still, in the whole issue, I found writer Leah Williams and artist Marcio Takara’s “Baby Steps” the most memorable. The short story shows Betsy Braddock at her brother’s English home for the holidays. Betsy’s sister-in-law, Meggan, is filming her unusually eloquent toddler’s first steps while Betsy watches. Apparently, Betsy’s visit was impromptu, since her brother, Brian, is surprised to see her sitting on his couch. Or, more accurately, he’s surprised to see the real Betsy instead of a Kwannon hybrid with Betsy’s mind. Although Betsy and Brian have had their ups and downs, this moment is undeniably sweet.

MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Betsy getting her original body back in SEARCH FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR was one of the biggest X-Men related events that happened this year. Whether or not you thought it was a good idea, you have to admit that Williams’ decision to create a “follow-up” story in the MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL was a wise one. A lot of characters have had talked to Betsy about her recent change, but having that conversation with her brother is something that deserved a few panels. With very few words, Williams and Takara were able to capture an incredibly important moment for the Braddock family.

X-Mas is Here

Over the past twelve days, CV has looked at a ton of amazing holiday issue, that do a great job of illustrating the X-Men’s extensive past. While the 12 Days of X-Mas may be over, an exciting new year of X-Men comics awaits. Reading the 2018 MERRY X-MEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL is a great way to usher in a plethora of new series starring some of our favorite characters. Be on the lookout for X-FORCE and the new AGE OF X-MAN spin-off series that are coming out soon!

Until next X-Mas!   

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