Welcome to the tenth 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 #15 in the countdown, "An X-Men X-Mas" by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Roger Cruz and Victor Olazaba Marvel's 2004 Holiday Special.
2004 was an interesting time in the history of the X-Men. During his run on New X-Men, Grant Morrison dramatically altered the X-Men landscape by expanding the amount of mutants in the world to MILLIONS (and adding the fact that it seemed like homo sapiens were destined to become extinct) and making a large focus of his series all of the new students that were now at Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning (or whatever the school was called at that point in time).
The issue is that, like a lot of other things over the years, other writers mostly steered clear of the stuff that Morrison was doing. Once he was off of the X-Men, though, suddenly lots of writers were doing great work with the students at Xavier's. Joss Whedon's follow-up X-Men series, Astonishing X-Men, was the most famous, but just as notable in the long run was Christina Weir and Nunzio De Fillipis' New Mutants series, which specifically followed just the young students at Xavier's. One of the students was a kid named Wither, who was shocked to learn that his mutant power was to, well, kill anything organic that he touched with his bare hands (not one of the better mutant powers).
In the 2004 Marvel Holiday Special, we see one of the other bad things about being Wither, the fact that no one wants to be with him on Christmas. So when Emma Frost finds out that Wither will be alone on the holiday, she cancels her planned trip with Cyclops to spend the Christmas break with Wither...
What follows is a series of funny Christmas style misadventures before they settle down to celebrate Christmas Eve, and we get to see Cyclops use his heat vision (which he obviously has, as you can see here) to light a fire while singing Christmas Carols. Emma Frost then has a tender moment with Wither...
Adorable stuff. Aguirre-Sacasa is so good with this adorable character stuff.