Marvel Holiday Special 2008 - Digital Exclusive

Issue Date: 
December 2008
Story Title: 
If the Fates Allow (first story)<br>Santa Claus vs. The Illuminati (fourth story)

First Story – Jim McCann (writer), Todd Nauck (artist), Christopher Sotomayor (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer)

Fourth Story – Brian Reed (writer), Val Semeiks (penciler), Mark Irwin (inker), Andrew Crossley (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer)

Tom Brennan (assistant editor), Stephen Wacker (editor), John Cerilli (director of digital content), Harry Go (digital coordinator), Tim Smith (digital production manager), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

First Story:

Storm travels to San Francisco to celebrate the holidays with the X-Men. The team and other mutants of San Francisco work side-by-side with humans to prepare for a holiday celebration. Ororo reflects on the meaning of the holidays and the recent loss of Kitty Pryde, who embodied the spirit of the season.
Fourth Story:

When Santa Claus learns that his reindeer were all Skrulls in disguise, he seeks the help of the Illuminati to make his scheduled deliveries. They offer him the Infinity Gauntlet to get the job done but Santa reacts badly to this ultimate power and the Illuminati must battle him to get it back!

Full Summary: 

First Story:

Ororo Munroe is flying across the continent towards the X-Men’s new home in San Francisco. She passes over the ruins of the Xavier Institute in Westchester, New York where the remains of a destroyed Sentinel can still be seen. She also passes over Chicago, Illinois, the hometown of her dear friend Kitty Pryde. She thinks to herself that these are difficult times for all of them but that despite the happenings in the world, that this is a time when many choose to travel great distances to be among family.
She arrives in San Francisco and lands on a balcony near Wolverine. He greets her with a smile and asks if she’s “Home for the holidays”. Ororo thinks to herself that both she and Logan have called many places “home” over the years: New York, Cairo, Australia but that now her home is in Wakanda. Despite this, she knows in her heart that she will always have a home with the X-Men… wherever they may reside. She looks down at the crowd gathered in the square below them. Humans and mutants are working together to prepare for a multicultural holiday celebration. Ororo is amazed to witness the manner in which the citizens of San Francisco have embraced the mutants who now live among them. She comments on this to Logan who says with expected gruffness “Not there yet. But it will be.”
At that moment, Iceman zooms past on an ice slide. He is wearing a top hat and a garland of holly is draped across his torso like a pageant queen’s sash. A trio of children are holding on to the end of it and enjoying a ride on his slide. He hurls a snowball which hits Wolvie in the face and asks if he’s going to just supervise all day or help out. He greets Ororo cheerily, welcoming her home. She comments on Bobby’s holiday spirit and Logan notes that everyone is getting into the holidays this year. “We figured we oughta give back a little” he says adding that this place needs to be a home for everyone. Nearby, Warpath is carrying a giant fir tree and Meltdown is hanging decorations.
Suddenly, a gigantic menorah comes loose from the crane that this is placing it in the courtyard. Colossus rushes forward to catch it and saves several people from being smashed as it falls. Ororo sees this and asks Logan how Piotr is holding up. He tells her that Colossus is putting on a smile and pouring himself into work.
Ororo flies out over the crowd and cannot help but smile at the spirit of cooperation and brotherhood she witnesses. She knows that this type of acceptance is characteristic of San Francisco, but she also feels it is the spirit of the season as well. In the crowd, mutants and humans are interacting as they decorate and prepare for the holiday festivities. She realizes that for some, the holidays are a difficult time when their thoughts turn to those who are not there to share in the joy. She thinks of Cyclops, whose son Cable is traveling through time to protect the first mutant child born since M-Day.
Logan hacks away the unneeded branches of a Christmas tree with his claws but he’s thinking of Professor X who is currently estranged from the rest of the X-Men. Then there is Colossus, who cannot help but think of his beloved Kitty Pryde as he repairs the minor damage done to the giant menorah. Ororo remembers how much Kitty loved all the holidays, despite being Jewish herself.
The preparations continue. Nightcrawler teleports in with sculptures for a nativity scene. Bling sets up candles for Kwanzaa while Nezhno exchanges gifts and Kwanzaa greetings with a young boy.
Cannonball, Mercury, Pixie and Angel are trimming a tree using their mutant powers to the delight of the humans watching. Ororo remembers that this is a time of miracles, symbolized by the menorah that Kitty held so dear. The candles of the menorah tie into the Jewish story of Hanukah when candles in the temple burned for seven days longer than they should have during difficult times. The menorah reminds them all that even in difficult times faith and hope endure. Colossus lifts the giant menorah into place in the center of the stage erected for the occasion.
Dazzler appears to perform for the crowd. She calls on the crowd to make some noise to fuel her light-based powers. The crowd happily obliges her and she breaks out in song. Ororo tells Piotr that Kitty would have loved this. Piotr smiles as he takes Ororo’s hand and replies “You are mistaken, Ororo. She will love it.” Despite her absence, Colossus has not given up hope that his Katya will somehow survive her current circumstances and return. Dazzler then says that her next song is for all those who are not with them tonight but are with them in spirit. She breaks into a gentle rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
Ororo recalls that when Kitty first joined the X-Men, it was winter and her holiday spirit was infectious. She made them watch all the holiday movies for days on end. Kitty’s favorite was “Meet Me in St. Louis” in which the family had to leave everything they loved and start anew. Despite the tragedy of it all, there was an undeniable message of hope in the film.
Ororo looks up at Piotr who can’t help but smile listening to Alison’s song. Storm realizes that it was Kitty who taught her about the holiday spirit and the importance of family at this time of year. She knows that they can all feel Kitty’s physical absence but that her spirit is with them. As Dazzler’s song reaches its crescendo, her mutant power lights up the night sky. Ororo hopes that Kitty and all those separated from their loved ones can see this light, born out of love and hope, wherever they may be and that it fills with them with hope and faith that they will soon be reunited with their families. The light of Dazzler’s performance shines brightly, visible even from the depths of space.

Fourth Story:

Santa Claus stands on a field of snow, his fist adorned with the Infinity Gauntlet and his eyes ablaze with drunken power! He challenges the Illuminati “You want the Infinity Gauntlet back!?!? Come and take it, you little girls!” The members of the Illuminati surround Santa and attack. Dr. Strange tells the others that he knew it was a bad idea to let Santa use the Gauntlet. Reed Richards tells Strange to calm down and that they need to reflect on how they got into this mess to begin with.
Twenty minutes earlier, Iron Man thanks the other members of this elite and secret group for gathering at his request. He informs them that Santa Claus needs their help. Professor X relays a message to Santa from Black Bolt “You never brought me my Speak N Spell”. Iron Man asks if everyone brought their Infinity Gems. They all hand them over to a very sheepish Santa who explains that he’d never ask such a favor but he just found out that all of his reindeer were Skrulls in disguise! The Illuminati assure him that they understand as they hand over the Gems.
Dr. Strange says that he was there for all that and it would be more helpful to hear ideas on how to deal with Santa now. Namor throws a snowball at Santa with all his Atlantean strength. This knocks Santa off his feet and the Infinity Gauntlet comes off. Namor exclaims “By Neptune’s nether regions, I did it!” and Santa cries “By Blitzen’s nether regions! I dropped it!” Santa momentarily laments the loss of such power and then seems confused. Xavier explains that he had a bad reaction to the Gauntlet’s power. Santa is embarrassed by all this and still has no solution to his lost reindeer and how he will possibly be able to make his deliveries. Iron Man offers a solution and mere moments later, Santa takes to the skies. His sleigh is being pulled by robotic reindeer designed by Tony Stark! Reed begins to make a comment but Professor X interrupts and says that Black Bolt was just thinking the same thing “Tony, it’s pretty freaking weird that you had robotic reindeer just lying around.”
Santa calls out to his new robo-reindeer and calls out “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” as Namor says to himself “I am the king… of all snowball throwers!”

Characters Involved: 

First Story:

Angel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Emma Frost, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Pixie, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Anole, Dust, Graymalkin, Dani Moonstar, Rockslide, Sunspot (all Young X-Men)

Warpath (X-Force)

Bling, Gentle, Meltdown, Mercury, Northstar, Persuasion,Thunderbird III, Timeslip (all unaffiliated mutants)
Unnamed citizens in Chicago and San Francisco
In memory only:

Cable, Professor X, Shadowcat
Fourth Story:

Black Bolt, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Namor, Professor X (all Illuminati)

Santa Claus

Story Notes: 

Second Story: “Last Christmas” starring Skrulls

Third Story: “Werewolf by Eve” starring Werewolf by Night
This issue was never actually a printed comic but a digital comic available only at Marvel’s official website. As a special holiday gift to Marvel fans, this comic was available for free during the later part of December 2008.
First Story:

Ororo notes that she has called New York, Cairo and Australia home. Ororo was born in New York City but her parents relocated to Cairo when she was a young child. They lived there happily until her parents’ were both killed in an air raid. Ororo then became a thief and street urchin in Cairo until she reached puberty. Years later, she returned to New York when recruited by Professor Xavier. After the X-Men were seemingly killed on national television, the team went underground and operated out of a hidden base in the Australian outback.
The inclusion of Timeslip is a bit odd for a number of reasons. First and foremost, though she is a mutant Rina Patel has never had any connections to the X-Men. Second, she was rendered powerless in NEW WARRIORS (1st Series) #75. However, she did appear in costume during the Civil War and was listed in resource guides as having joined the Initiative. All this suggests that Rina may have regained her powers and retained them following M-Day.
This is the first appearance of Neal Shaara AKA Thunderbird III since before M-Day.
The boy celebrating Kwanzaa with Gentle uses the traditional greeting “Habari Gani” which means “What’s the News?” in Swahili.
Kitty Pryde was lost to the X-Men following a conflict with the Breakworlders as shown in Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1. She is currently merged bodily with a giant bullet that is speeding through space. Only Kitty’s phasing power prevented the bullet from harming the Earth and the other planets it now passes through on its trajectory through the cosmos.
Kitty joined the X-Men in UNCANNY X-MEN #131. The X-Men celebrated Christmas in UNCANNY X-MEN #143 in which Kitty single-handedly defeated a N’Garai demon and thrashed a good portion of the school.
“Meet Me in St. Louis” is a 1944 film starring Judy Garland. It tells the story of the Smith family who have to move from St. Louis to New York during the height of the St. Louis World Fair of 1904. This is a particularly apt movie for Kitty to connect with since she had to relocate from Illinois to New York when she first joined the X-Men.
Fourth Story:

It is specifically stated in the introduction that this story does not take place in established continuity.
The Infinity Gauntlet is a cosmically powerful artifact powered by six Infinity Gems that manipulate Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality and Power. The Gems were gathered by the Illuminati in NEW AVENGERS: THE ILLUMINATI #2. Each member took possession of a single Gem and hid it so they could never be reunited again and put to ill use.

Issue Information: 
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