Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr ComicsVerse is celebrating the 12 Days of X-Mas by taking a look at some of our favorite X-Men holiday-themed issues! Today, we’re talking about how Emma Frost and Cyclops gave their student Wither an extra special Christmas in the 2004 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL. The best time of the fall school semester is, undoubtedly, winter break. For a few weeks, schools close their doors and students escape the stress that comes with exams and homework. Xavier’s School for Gifted Mutants isn’t like any other school in the Marvel universe. Thankfully, though, it still offers a winter break for its students. With all the garbage young mutants have to deal with in a world that despises them, letting them enjoy Christmas in the comfort of their own home is the least Emma and Scott can do in the 2004 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL. Emma’s On a Mission In this issue’s X-Men story, “An X-Men X-Mas,” most of the students take the winter break opportunity to go home. Even if they don’t have a family to go home to, Emma tries to set them up with a temporary foster family, just for the holidays. This is what she attempted to do for Kevin Ford, a.k.a. Wither, but at the last minute the family pulled out, citing Wither’s extreme powers as the reason. Wither kills organic things when he touches them, which could, obviously, be pretty dangerous. The family’s fears are reasonable. Of course, that still leaves Kevin alone on Christmas. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment Before they heard about Kevin’s situation, Scott and Emma had a lavish vacation planned to “Pleasure Island.” But, after Emma gets off the phone with Kevin’s almost-foster family, she’s adamant about staying at the mansion with Kevin. Together, the headmistress and headmaster of Xavier’s bring Kevin around New York City, showering him with gifts and wintertime activities. Although Kevin appreciates what his teachers do for him, the thought that he’s supposed to be celebrating Christmas with a “normal” family is hard to shake. The fact that he’s unable to decorate the tree because of his mutant ability doesn’t help. In a last-ditch effort to comfort the boy on Christmas Eve, Emma turns into her diamond form and offers her hand. This may not sound like much, but keep in mind how seldom Kevin touches another human being. Without his gloves, he would quickly kill anyone he comes into contact with. That’s a miserable and lonely existence. Holding Emma’s hand, even for a brief moment, is probably the first human contact he’s had in years.Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment Mutant-Human Relations in the 2004 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL X-Men comics are always trying to reinforce the concept of bigotry towards mutants. Even if you’ve only read a few X-Men comics, you’ve probably come across this famous trope. The 2004 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL is part of this larger trend, but it refuses to reenact homo-sapien bigotry the same way most X-Men issues do. In this issue, there is absolutely no violence or action. Kevin’s holiday foster family doesn’t even physically appear. They’re only present during their phone call with Emma. The slurs and hate speech that normally come out of humans’ mouths in X-Men comics are notably absent. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment I don’t think with this issue writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wanted to emphasize the harshness of the rift between humans and mutants. Marvel writers have already covered that well enough. Rather, he wanted to show readers a more complex view on the issue. Kevin is dangerous and easily could’ve hurt that human family. But, he’s also a person who deserves to be with those who care about him on the holidays. Ironically, the only person who could make Kevin feel a little less lonely was the once-villain Emma. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment Making Things Right More than anything else, I think the X-Men story in the 2004 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL is about learning how to make do with what you have. No one tries to stop mutant hatred once and for all or do anything half as dramatic. Emma and Scott make a fairly small sacrifice and do their best to make Kevin’s Christmas a good one. Still, that small sacrifice is a meaningful one. If Emma hadn’t stayed at the mansion with Kevin, who knows how the tragic event would have affected him later in life. Mutant life is hard but in the 2004 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL, Emma shows that doing just a few small things can make a visible difference.