A Very Merry XMas! Humbug

A Very Merry X-Mas! – ‘Humbug’

The X-Mas countdown continues with ‘Humbug’ from Marvel’s 1994 Holiday Special

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A Very Merry XMas!  Humbug

Welcome to the sixth installment of A Very Merry X-Mas, where I count down my 24 favorite X-Men (or X-Men related) Christmas stories!

Today, we look at #19 in the countdown, “Humbug” by Tom DeFalco, Josh Hood and Andrew Pepoy from 1994’s Marvel Holiday Special.

The conceit of this story is a good one, although honestly I don’t know if the Josh Hood artwork works that well for this particular story. I like Josh Hood’s artwork, in general, but I think that this story probably would have been better with a more “serious” looking art style. Hood’s work really goes better with more action-oriented stories.

In any event, the idea is that Wolverine is bemoaning the fact that he hates holidays, especially Christmas (and Hanukkah – he actually does make a point of name-checking Hanukkah), because they suggest certain warm and cozy feelings that Wolverine doesn’t necessarily believe exist.

Essentially, he is being super cynical, but amusingly enough, while he is in the midst of his cynical outlook on the holiday, we keep getting contrasted with instances that counteract his cynicism. When he thinks a street corner Santa is about to pull a scam on a lady (by the way, what kind of scam involves the woman first accidentally dropping her wallet on the ground? “Ah, yes, the classic ‘Somehow force the woman to drop her purse on the ground and then steal it’ scam. I know it well”) the Santa instead returns the wallet to the woman…

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A Very Merry XMas!  Humbug

We then contrast Wolverine’s sad memories (or lack thereof) of receiving toys as a child, we contrast that with Cyclops giving Cable a baseball glove for Christmas. It’s a cute bit…

A Very Merry XMas!  Humbug

We also see Storm help light up some Christmas Tree sales (I am a bit unsure of how this works, exactly. Is it that it is snowing in just this spot of the city?)…

A Very Merry XMas!  Humbug

We also see Iceman using his powers to entertain some kids.

The main bit in the story, though, is when Bishop buys a little girl a toy that she is staring at in the window of a store. Wolverine, of course, tries to make it into a greedy thing (the kid just looking out for her own self-interest), when in reality, she was only trying to get the doll to give to her younger sister, which Wolverine discovers when he and Bishop happen to walk past her window and see her giving the gift (which, huh?)….

A Very Merry XMas!  HumbugA Very Merry XMas!  Humbug

Seeing that act of kindness at least makes Wolverine feel a bit bad for not believing in the holiday spirit, but in reality, we know that he really does, even if he thinks that he doesn’t.

CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over fifteen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed). He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times, About.com, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed and other pop culture features at Pop Culture References. Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you’d like to see featured at [email protected]!

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