Christmas Comics Cavalcade: We Wish You A Merry X-Mas In ‘X-Men’ #165

by Tony Thornley

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means Christmas themed comics! To start our month off, we’re going to look at an X-Men classic.

Chris Claremont, Salvador Larroca, Danny Miki, Rob Ro, and Chris Eliopoulos tell the tale of Christmas at the X-Mansion.

It’s Christmas in Salem Center. For the X-Men, that means superheroes, soap opera and shenanigans. Kitty and Rachel need to help Laura Kinney adjust to normal life. Julian Keller needs to be taught a lesson in humility. Thankfully, Christmas is the only time the X-Men get happy endings, and this one is no different.

Late Claremont is always a struggle. This issue is a shining example of when Claremont is capable of when he’s “on.” Though Laura is unrecognizable from what she’s like today, overall this issue is a character study showing Laura and Julian what it means to be a part of the X-Men. For Laura, it’s about taking action and protecting others. For Julian, it’s showing compassion and caring about others. Both come to similar end results, but the journeys are what’s important for them.

Larroca is probably at his best at this point in his career. His figure work is engaging and he has great layouts. His comedic timing is really solid too, with several gags paced just right for them to work. Miki provides a thin like over the pencils and Ro keeps the colors bright, keeping with the cheery tone.

It’s not a perfect issue, but it shows how the X-Men aren’t just about punching the bad guy. This is an issue about the people and their impact on each other. Wrapping it in Christmas paper does allow it to have a more sentimental twist. It’s a creator on his way down recapturing what he has done better elsewhere.

But hey, it’s a decent little trifle to start the Christmas season off with.

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