Thursday, December 22, 2011

80-Page Thursdays: Marvel Holiday Special 1993!

For the next stretch, as long as I can find them, every Thursday we'll check out an 80-page comic! Not 64, not 100, 80-page giants only! Today we've got a book that may be 84 pages, depending on how you count it, and is cover-dated the wrong year: 199392's Marvel Holiday Special! This was the second of the ten or so Marvel's done since 1991, and not too shabby. Featuring stories from Ann Nocenti, Stan Lee, Fabian Nicieza, and more; with art by Tom Grindberg, Tom Morgan, Steve Lightle, and more. Larry Hama and Michael Golden start things out with "Zounds O' Silence!" A fun Wolverine silent story.
After a New Warriors story from Nicieza and Darick Robertson and a Spidey tale from Stan Lee and Steve Lightle; Carl Potts and Rik Levins bring us a fun Punisher short where Microchip bets Frank he can't go 48 hours without killing or hurting anyone. Then Peter David, John Hebert, and Mike DeCarlo deliver probably my favorite Doc Samson story, ever: "Revisionist History," wherein the doctor tries to tell a yeshiva class the story of Chanukah. And fails spectacularly. (It's kind of sad, though, I honestly have read more about the history of Krypton than I have about Jewish culture...)

Jim Starlin and Ron Lim revisit Thanos--the mad Titan, the death worshipper, the big bad--in "Yule Memory." Refitting an old hideout, his robots find a box of Christmas decorations and a child's doll; remnants from the childhood of Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the universe. While training her as an assassin, Thanos had still tried to raise Gamora as a normal childhood, with a birthday and holidays. And when an old foe tries to kill him, Thanos realizes how much that helped her...but that she will turn against him someday.

After an Iron Man story, the issue ends with an Ann Nocenti Daredevil piece that is nowhere near as depressing as DD's usual Christmas stories. Thank goodness. Solid issue, this one, and you should be able to find it with a little effort.

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