It’s the first Wednesday of December, and exactly 20 days from Christmas. What’s really nice about this Christmas is it’ll be the first one in 13 years where I’m not working retail, which means I’m not forced to listen to the worst of commercialized Christmas music for weeks on end. This year I’ll actually be able to enjoy it properly. Of course, being December, it also means that we’re getting a bunch of holiday special comics. Whether that’s a good thing or not tends to depend on the year. I picked one of them up today.
The comics I picked up this week include X-Men: The Exterminated 1, The Merry X-Men Holiday Special, Uncanny X-Men 4 and Star Wars 58. Here are my first impressions, and when I post a full review, most likely for Uncanny X-Men 4, it’ll be added below.
X-Men: The Exterminated 1 is easily the best comic I read this week. As much as adult Jean Grey’s been back for most of the year now, she hasn’t really interacted with Hope Summers that much. But after Cable’s death, they’re mutually in mourning. This is a fairly dramatic read, with Hope losing control of her emotions, and Jean helping her stay level headed. Through their grieving, they connect very well. Jean also helps Hope to learn from her father figure’s death, and to learn how to let go. It’s also a good way to highlight that, while they may look very similar, they are two completely different people. If you’re a fan of Cable, Jean Grey or Hope Summers, this issue is definitely worth picking up.
The Merry X-Men Holiday Special is alright. It’s kind of dumb fun, with more than a dozen writers writing a single page’s story. Jubilee’s story gets a few mentions, but otherwise there’s one very short story for all 25 days of Advent. Some of them are entertaining, but you’ll forget about most of them as soon as you’re done reading them. Also while I usually try to tag everyone who’s involved with every comic I look at in this post, that’ll take way too much effort with this one. Check it out if you’re curious, but this definitely isn’t the best Christmas special I’ve seen from the X-Men. It’s a bit too ambitious for its own good.
Star Wars 58 is really good. Luke, Han and Leia are stranded on an isolationist planet, where they’re expected to be waiting for at least 5 months before the next trader ship arrives. While Han is clearly enjoying his time there, and Leia is making the most of her “unplanned vacation”, Luke is getting restless. He wants to get back out there to fight the Empire, even if this issue makes it clear that he could learn a lot from the people inhabiting the planet. He could even learn things that help him on his path to become a Jedi. He’s hasty enough that he might even put the entire colony at risk, despite the warmings he’s received. This is a brilliantly done character focused issue, and writer Kieron Gillen is making this story feel more important than I expected it would be when it started. Star Wars fans should be reading this series.