Decent Holiday Tales With A Mediocre Framing In Marvel’s Season’s Beatings #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The holidays have arrived, and Deadpool is here to deliver a trio of tales in the spirit of the season while the X-Force sign autographs and sell merch.

In the first story, Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, finds himself without money to buy gifts and too exhausted to fight crime. Thankfully Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, is there to help.

In the second tale, Doctor Doom is visited by one of his greatest enemies: Squirrel Girl! But is she actually there for a fight?

Finally, Kate Bishop and Quentin Quire, aka Hawkeye and Kid Omega of the West Coast Avengers, investigate the murder of a mall Santa Claus with the help of a local detective.

Season's Beatings #1 cover by Marcos Martin
Season’s Beatings #1 cover by Marcos Martin

Marvel’s Season Beatings holiday special is a more winking and self-referential comic than previous Marvel iterations of such books. That’s to be expected with Deadpool as the “host,” and it’s not an inherently bad idea.

In the interest of disclosure and honesty, I’m inclined to mention that I am no fan of Deadpool. At my most objective, I still find the “meta” humor of Deadpool difficult to stomach and generally unfunny. Unfortunately, that’s no different here.

That said, I found the stories being “told” by him enjoyable. The Squirrel Girl and Doctor Doom story especially charmed me, and seeing Miles Morales finally give Peter Parker a break in the opening story was a sweet moment. The Kate Bishop and Quentin Quire story felt weaker than the other two, but it was still a decent bit of fun.

The X-Force aspect of the framing was alright. One of its main jokes is that X-Force hasn’t been popular since the 1990’s, but I remember Kyle Craig, Chris Yost, and Clayton Crain’s X-Force series and the subsequent Rick Remender series being pretty damn popular. Checkmate, Deadpool.

Of course, I’m also mentioning that because I happened to like those two series.

In any case, Season’s Beatings’ story is a mix of good and bad, with the stories outshining the framing. Spider-Men, Squirrel Girl, and West Coast Avengers good, Deadpool not so good.

Season's Beatings #1 art by Greg Hinkle and letterer VC's Travis Lanham
Season’s Beatings #1 art by Greg Hinkle and letterer VC’s Travis Lanham

Greg Hinkle is the artist on the Deadpool framing story, with Chris Brunner, Mario del Pennino, and Veronica Fish on the three other stories respectively. Each artist brings a suiting style to their stories. Hinkle brings a cartoonish and geometric style to the framing, Brunner makes the Spider-Men story heavy and almost noir-like, De Pennino brings a cute aesthetic to the Squirrel Girl tale, and Fish brings a more modern and energetic look to the West Coast Avengers story. Rico Renzi, Jim Campbell, and Fish do some solid coloring too.

Season’s Beatings #1 is a decent comic showcasing writer Jason Latour’s humor stylings and ability to get in touch with a more sentimental and human side. The overall product is a bit more cynical and self-aware than I personally prefer, but it’s still a solid holiday special. If an annual holiday comic special is your thing, you’ll almost certainly dig this. Feel free to check it out.

Season’s Beatings #1 comes to us from writer Jason Latour, artists Greg Hinkle, Chris Brunner, Veronica Fish, and Mario del Pennino, color artists Rico Renzi, Jim Campbell, and Veronica Fish, letterer VC’s Travis Lanham, cover artist Marcos Martin, and variant cover artist Jason Latour.

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